Review of Bitcoin Service Providers: Coinbase, BlockChain, Bitcoin Armory, and Mt.Gox

Ben Lee

Ben Lee

CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots

Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.

bitcoinIt’s obvious that Bitcoin is blowing up. This new currency is beginning to be accepted as payment in some of the biggest endeavors in the marketplace. Just last week, Virgin Galactic agreed to start accepting Bitcoins for future space travel. Neon Roots also recently announced that not only are we accepting Bitcoins but giving a 30% discount to those who pay for development and design services using Bitcoin. This is definitely an exciting time as a new frontier unfolds right in front of us but sometimes new opportunities can bring confusion especially when it comes to a new type of currency. We wanted to breakdown some of the basics of a few popular Bitcoin services for our readers.

Coinbase: https://coinbase.com/

Coinbase is one of the most well known Bitcoin services.  It functions as both a payment platform and a Bitcoin wallet.  With Coinbase, users can buy and sell Bitcoins as well as set up Bitcoin merchant services.

One of the best aspects of Coinbase is its simplicity.  It has an easy, clean design that makes signing up for an account a straight-forward experience. To open a free account, just put in your email address and a password, confirm with an email link, accept agreement terms, and you’re in. The first screen on your profile shows your Bitcoin balance and offers a handy Quick Start Guide front and center.  It also has a link to accept Bitcoin on your website and another link to invite friends to join. The uncluttered UI flow make the experience very manageable even for a newcomer and helpful links in the footer like “How to Buy Bitcoin” make the Coinbase site a useful resource, too.

BlockChain: https://blockchain.info/

The BlockChain website is very different than Coinbase.  BlockChain is full of movement with a “Latest Transactions” ticker showing a constant stream of real time Bitcoin payments. BlockChain is also a Bitcoin wallet service.  The user experience of the site is more difficult to navigate especially if you’re just getting started in the realm of Bitcoins but it’s also packed with much valuable information. Stats, charts, and market statistics are easily accessible from the home page and would be a constant stop for the more seasoned Bitcoin user.

One of the best features on the BlockChain website is the ability to try a demo account before actually signing up.  The demo feature allows visitors to get a peek at the wallet interface.  It has different tabs for the various functions such as “My Transactions”, “Send Money”, and “Receive Money”.  It also clearly shows the current balance in the upper right corner.  We think BlockChain offers a lot of up-to-date features that would be useful to check out on a daily basis as your Bitcoin knowledge increases.

Bitcoin Armory: https://bitcoinarmory.com/

Bitcoin Armory is an open source management platform for Bitcoin.  Compared to Coinbase and Blockchain, Bitcoin Armory is a contender for the middle seat. The website itself is geared toward the new visitor with lots of upfront information about the company and the product.  There’s a Features page, an FAQ page, and a special section to ease the nervous investor on the security of their product.

The design of Bitcoin Armory’s website is one of its downfalls. Its template-like appearance and lack of detail and style seems to convey a sense of haste. A thoughtful, well conceived first impression is a guiding principle that we firmly believe in. Bitcoin Armory also needs another program to be running in order to function. It works in tandem with Bitcoin-Qt for security support. This means that both Bitcoin-Qt and Bitcoin Armory must be installed to access Bitcoin Armory.  This two-step process will most likely turn away a portion of users especially with the streamlined options available and others bound to emerge soon.

Mt.Gox: https://www.mtgox.com

If you’re looking for the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, the ease and popularity of Mt.Gox will draw you in. It’s known throughout the Bitcoin-sphere as an industry standard. Mt.Gox offers a trading platform that allows Bitcoin trading across 16 different currencies. The site also offers a virtual vault for Bitcoin security.

Signing up for a free account is efficient and easy. There is a basic sign up procedure including name, email, password, and a verification code sent to your inbox.  The second part gets a little more involved.  After the account is created, it needs to be verified via identification documents before you can start trading.

Once verified and ready to go, signing into the Mt.Gov site is simple with a home page login.  The current Bitcoin prices are ticking across the top banner of the site and there’s a live chat box for support issues. Overall, Mt.Gox is a well known name in the Bitcoin world with a streamlined sign up and visitor friendly site.

Have questions about Bitcoin or how you can use Bitcoin with Neon Roots?  Drop us a note, we love to talk Bitcoin!

http://www.neonroots.com/

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