As the bitcoin ecosystem continues to evolve, a wide array of companies are popping up, each offering their own unique brand of service. Navigating the tricky waters of bitcoin is hard enough as is but if you have the right tools by your side, you’ll be a “crypto-pro” in no time. So let’s get our hands dirty and look at some companies that operate in all the different fields of bitcoin and how they can help you.
Even if you’re just starting out with bitcoin, odds are you’ve heard of Coinbase. Coinbase is a global, digital asset exchange platform. Basically, that means you can buy and sell your bitcoin while also sending information about your transactions to the blockchain network for verification. Out of all companies in the bitcoin industry, Coinbase is easily one of, (if not the most) unique organizations out there due to it’s insanely quick and efficient “cash in/cash out” capabilities. For this reason, venture capitalists are flocking to Coinbase which in turn, is causing the company's valuation to skyrocket.
Abra is a mobile app that lets users buy and sell their bitcoin with a digital wallet (the Abra wallet). Once you use bitcoin, then the value is kept safely in the Abra wallet. It goes beyond just storage though. Once a user has bitcoin in their Abra wallet, they can instantly send peer-to-peer payments to anyone in the world just as easily as sending a text message on WhatsApp or a similar messaging platform. For example, let’s say you want to quickly send money from America to your friend backpacking in Italy. With Abra, you can convert USD to bitcoin and then back to fiat money (in this case, Euros) for your friend’s convenience. Also, unlike other payment services like Paypal, Abra never actually takes custody of anyone’s money in the transaction process.
Essentially, Change Bank is a one-stop shop for all your bitcoin needs. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Change Bank is their own, unique bank card. This card works like any other bank card but allows you to make transactions with bitcoin. Another huge advantage of Change Bank is the marketplace. Here, Change Bank’s application programming interface (API) groups a wide array of financial services in one, convenient location. Users can invest in stocks, real estate, pay for traveling, lend money to users and more in a safe, secure environment. Also, if you’ve ever wanted to register a company in Estonia and access the government's online services, Change Bank makes that extremely easy since they’ve partnered with Estonia’s E-residency Program.
Opening in 2010, Slush Pool became the world’s first ever mining pool. Since then, it has mined over 1 million bitcoins. Slush Pool has a long and reputable history of accurate payouts and it’s unique voting system ensures the pool is politically neutral. Every single miner regardless of skill or experience is given an equal voice. Furthermore, Slush Pool offers top-notch availability all over the world, 24/7 professional support, high account security and constant development.
Simply put, Swarm is a crowdfunding startup. A “Kickstarter for bitcoin” if you will. But underneath this layer is something way more revolutionary and exciting. Swarm is a big part of a collective movement towards “distributed governance” which explores new methods of decentralization and how companies can operate without singular authority. Co-founder Joel Dietz says the vision of Swarm is “to restore all people the power currently monopolized by the one percent.” Now, that’s something we can all get behind. Hopefully, you learned a thing or two about the diverse bitcoin ecosystem now. It’s complex, beautiful and growing every day. So, keep an eye out for more videos featuring even more great companies providing bitcoin services in the future!