Smartbit is a platform-as-a-service which makes it easier for startups and businesses to build and scale products that integrate with bitcoin.
Co-founder Jarred Spriggs says Smartbit allows bitcoin entrepreneurs and businesses to focus on building consumer-facing tools using blockchain technology, by removing the need to build the infrastructure required to work with the blockchain.
“Smartbit has a direct connection to the bitcoin network. So we can communicate to the decentralised bitcoin network and we’ve got nodes around the world so we can pick up transactions really quickly,” Spriggs says.
“We’ve got a full developers platform. So you can really interact with the bitcoin network and get your toes wet before you start building. You don’t need to build that infrastructure layer to understand the protocol.
“It’s a gateway to get that data in a familiar environment really.”
Spriggs says without tools like Smartbit, the bitcoin industry wouldn’t be able grow into a mature technology.
“A lot of the early companies, and there’s only a handful of the original ones left, they were definitely focused on returning a profit from an end user,” Spriggs says.
“There wasn’t that consumer focus. And usability of bitcoin for consumers and businesses is really important. It’s got to be easy to use and the experience has to be really good.
“The second wave of bitcoin startups are really focused on mature level tools that are aimed at real businesses. And that’s where Smartbit fits in. Unless they have good tools they won’t get there.”
The startup, which is currently being bootstrapped, launched in beta three weeks ago and Spriggs says the response has been positive. The startup has been working closely with a number of bitcoin companies and will continue to strengthen its product in the coming months.
“At some point we can look at monetising the service,” Spriggs says.
“Depending on the amount of users, the size of the business, how many calls they require, or even a consultancy to help integrate these systems. At the moment we’re just focusing on helping the community and making sure it’s a good tool for people to use.
“Bitcoin being the first ever global open database, it’s actually a really interesting concept.
“If you think about automatically creating consensus and being public and open, the whole premise of it being a permanent history then it solves many, many problems; identify theft, title registry and fraud. A platform like bitcoin has a chance to solve those issues.
“I think if you focus on those as the end goal, and look at building the tools to help get you there now, well eventually get to a situation where I think it’s a better environment for people to operate and live in.”