2 September 2014
New Zealand digital currency platform launches
first real-time bitcoin exchange in the UAE
New Zealand’s fastest-growing digital currency platform, igot.com
, has launched the first bitcoin exchange online platform in the United Arab Emirates, enabling users to save up to
seven to eight per cent in international transaction costs and currency exchange.
This is a significant move for the Australian headquartered company and its plans to tap into the UAE’s reported $25
billion remittance payments market*.
Of the UAE’s population of 9.2 million, expats are said to make up nearly 85 per cent (7.8 million), and are largely
responsible for the solid growth of remittances from this second largest Arab country**. In 2013 alone, it is reported
that expats remitted more than $15 billion from the UAE*.
The UAE economy and tax system is also known to be different to other international markets. The UAE is a tax-free zone
and the Government is proposing a tax on money leaving the country, making compliance a complicated process for any new
brokerage entering the market.
Rick Day, co-founder of igot says, “The UAE is a natural next step in igot’s expansion. Millions of foreign workers are making daily remittance payments
back home to family but are incurring a significant cost – at around 10 per cent per transaction. igot’s platform now
offers a solution, enabling users to make real time trades at a fraction of the cost.
“Worldwide, Bitcoin is increasingly being recognised as a cheaper and near-instant method of sending money. With more
than nine million expats in the UAE, combined with the UAE being one of the world’s wealthiest economies, this will be
an interesting market for us with significant growth opportunities, said Mr Day.”
The news follows the launch of igot.com
in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and India between February and May this year. In June, igot.com
announced Jesse Chenard, US entrepreneur and co-founder of Tremor Video (NYSE: TRMR), as a major investor and advisor.
In less than two months, igot.com
became the largest digital currency exchange platform, in terms of trade volume, in both India and New Zealand.
Founded by Australian internet entrepreneur Rick Day and New York attorney Patrick Manasse, igot.com
is a one-stop shop to buy, sell, send and request cryptocurrencies securely at the click of a button.
Since launch, igot has already processed more than $25 million in trades. It is also one of few digital currency
platforms to feature BPAY and direct debit facilities. In July, igot launched Future Trade, a feature that enables
traders to overcome price volatility by automating future ‘buys’ or ‘sells’, allowing users to set their price
expectations. More than 10,000 trades have been executed by Bitcoin users via Future Trade in just over six weeks. This
number is expected to grow as users increasingly realise its value in market as a solution to addressing fluctuations in
also plans to continue its growth globally – through Asia and Europe this year – and expects to launch additional
cryptocurrencies in the coming 12 months.