When BitcoinVN was launched in early 2014 to provide the Vietnamese market with access to the new and fledgling Bitcoin network and economy, the whole space was a very different landscape.

The infamous Mt. Gox platform was responsible for about 90% of the global trading volume; most projects and operations in the space were side projects; usually run in very amateurish ways (good-willing and -intentioned in the better case – but even back then scammers all-too-happily pocketed already people’s Bitcoin whenever greed took over) – and yes, over in North America you had already a few early-stage startups in the space which obtained their first larger funding checks.

Vietnam at the time didn’t have any locally accessible Bitcoin exchanges besides a few hidden clandestine mining operations and various semi-legal ways of funneling funds overseas to get access to Bitcoin. Residents of Vietnam did not have an easy way to obtain Bitcoin and start their stacking journey.

Addressing this gap in the market was the major goal for the mixed Vietnamese-European founding team of BitcoinVN.

BitcoinVN Founders Alex Winter, Bao Phuong Nguyen, Dominik Weil and Phil Trinh
BitcoinVN Founders Alex Winter, Bao Phuong Nguyen, Dominik Weil and Phil Trinh.

While the initial platform served this problem well – with an abundance in Vietnamese flags and colours and a scarcity in functionality and features – it also was built at a time when the market and technology was much simpler and less developed.

http://bit.ly/32LbCLR
The launch version of BitcoinVN in March 2014
The launch version of BitcoinVN in March 2014.

While the platform has seen various upgrades and improvements over the years, the technological foundation remained the same; limiting the user experience and making expanding offerings an unnecessarily challenging task.

BitcoinVN CTO Alex Winter therefore tackled the task to fundamentally redesign the foundations of the platform and unload the amount of technical debt accumulated over the years to get the BitcoinVN platform ready to keep up with the developments and challenges of the early 2020’s.

Some of the major improvements coming along with it:

Direct Asset to Asset exchange

The previous BitcoinVN version always required users to go in or out VND to purchase the Digital Asset of their choice. Now – you can exchange any Digital Asset for any other Digital Asset directly!

Want to unload that bag of Doge quick & fast for some real money? Here ya go!
Want to unload that bag of Doge quick & fast for some real money? Here ya go!

And yes, deposits/withdrawals via all domestic bank accounts as well as via various Cash Offices remain in place!

Balances on BitcoinVN

While the previous version of BitcoinVN expected users to withdraw their coins on purchase in the spirit of “Not your keys, not your coins”, most new users prefer to trust a  trusted third party initially to hold their coins for them.

While we will continue to educate our users to our best ability to learn about the why & how of self-custody, we also have to recognize that for the demographic entering the space nowadays we must provide more convenient onboarding solutions.

On the upside: It will provide our team the opportunity to implement further features like automatic purchases [“DCA” or… Dong-Cost-Averaging 🙂 ] for small amounts of Bitcoin, which the users can then withdraw periodically into their own wallets to save on transaction fees.

Yep, while you should learn about self-custody… - yes, you can keep your coins with BitcoinVN now
Yep, while you should learn about self-custody… – yes, you can keep your coins with BitcoinVN now.

Multiple deposit/withdrawal methods per Asset

Back in the day when BitcoinVN started out, the business model was very plain & simple: Deposit VND via bank wire, and receive Bitcoin immediately. Or vice versa: Deposit Bitcoin, receive VND immediately via bank wire.

Nowadays… there is much more that can be done.

Many assets nowadays provide various ways to be deposited or withdrawn.

You can deposit/withdraw VND via bank wire or cash office; Tether is currently supported in its ERC20 token format as well as SLP token; Bitcoin settlement can take place either instantly or via the batched SegWit withdrawal option… – with many more possibilities to come down the road.

Adding support for USDT_TRC20 (which is already supported via BitcoinVN’s OTC desk) or Bitcoin on the Lightning Network are some of the additional options which are being worked on with higher priority – watch the announcements

Yep, while you should learn about self-custody… - yes, you can keep your coins with BitcoinVN now
Yep, while you should learn about self-custody… – yes, you can keep your coins with BitcoinVN now.

Increased Trading Limits

While unverified accounts are still limited to a maximum deposit of 5,000,000 VND via bank wire (higher limits after verification or via cash deposits available), pure Crypto-to-Crypto transfers benefit can be conducted without limitation.

“Offboarding” from Crypto into VND remains without limits.

No limit - for all Crypto-to-Crypto and Crypto-VND transactions on the new BitcoinVN
No limit – for all Crypto-to-Crypto and Crypto-VND transactions on the new BitcoinVN.

Overall the relaunch will allow BitcoinVN to roll out various long-desired features and functionalities over the coming months, which were held back by the reliable, but dated architecture of the original platform.

The team of BitcoinVN is looking forward to your feedback and suggestions!