The world of gold bullion sales is often peopled by the odd and interesting. Joseph Castillo is one of the latter. The owner of Agora Commodities, his company now only accepts Bitcoin for online sales, a move that has reduced fraud and improved his service.
Castillo talked to Coindesk about his decision, saying that “What we had to do to protect ourselves against card fraud, we no longer have to do with bitcoin – and that saves us on costs.”
The company has done $10 million in revenue through bitcoin since he moved to cryptocurrencies in the beginning of 2014. Customers understood the move and have been working with him to transfer assets via the blockchain rather than the Visa card. Castillo is also planning on building a BTC exchange for his customers. The goal is to create a one-stop-shop for all your goldbug tendencies, including fiat to BTC conversions.
“Bitcoin fits perfectly with gold and silver, right? So if people come to the site and want to buy gold and silver, why wouldn’t they want to buy bitcoin from us as well?” he told Coindesk.
Given that credit card processing fees hover around 2-3% at best and are more like 4 percent in reality, there is a lot of value in moving to a considerably cheaper BTC sales channel. While taking BTC is not truly fee – there are fees involved – the money moves immediately and there is little chance of fraud. It is, in a sense, a virtual cash transaction. Cash leaves my wallet and lands in yours and nothing short of divine intervention can wrest it out of your hands.
Bitcoin is also the perfect tool for commodity exchanges like Castillo’s. While there will always be a need for escrow services in these sorts of transactions, I suspect bitcoin is far more compelling for someone selling gold online. After all, the money is immediately available and trust is a non-issue.
Castillo said his customers were generally supportive and that they are seeing little backlash. Considering most of his customers want to remain anonymous anyway, that makes perfect sense.