For Immediate Release
Amagi Metals Turns Bitcoins Into Gold
May 15, 2013
If you have money tied up in bitcoins, the virtual currency that is creating so much buzz among the technocracy, and would like to convert it into something more tangible, Stephen Macaskill has a solution. Macaskill’s company, Amagi Metals, is a precious metals dealer that accepts bitcoins for the purchase of gold, silver, and base metals such as copper, titanium, and zinc.
Some people regard bitcoins as a speculative commodity similar to gold or oil or wheat futures, and to a certain extent, they are. But there are differences, too, and those differences make the cyber-currency attractive to a wide variety of individuals and businesses. Amagi Metals is one of the companies that see enough upside in bitcoin trading to accept them as payment for their goods.
“We feel that the concept of Bitcoins and the technology behind it make it a viable currency. However, we do not feel that Bitcoins offer more long-term security than government-backed currencies like the dollar or the Euro; Bitcoin is a short-term solution to issues with governmentbacked currencies, and the fluctuations in Bitcoin prices represents significant opportunity for speculative investors.” says Amagi Metals owner Stephen Macaskill. “That’s why we’re allowing customers to use Bitcoins to purchase gold and silver from us.”
Their willingness to accept bitcoins for buying precious metals has made Amagi Metals the world’s largest bitcoin retailer with over $800,000 in transactions in April 2013 alone.
The value of a bitcoin fluctuates in much the same way as commodities or stocks do. There are bitcoin exchanges that track transactions and quote bitcoin values in US dollars or Euros or about any other currency. Amagi Metals tracks those values along with the market price of metals and are thus able to quote the price of gold, for instance, in bitcoins.
A buyer goes through the typical online checkout process and when it comes time to select the form of payment, rather than choosing a conventional one like a credit card, they select “bitcoin” and are quoted the number of bitcoins needed for payment based on the current market value of the “virtual currency.” As with entering a credit card payment, the buyer’s bitcoin account information is entered (bitcoins are kept in a “bitcoin wallet” with codes similar to a credit card account number), and then the payment is made by transferring the bitcoins from the buyer’s “wallet” to the seller’s.
Because bitcoin transactions are difficult (some would say impossible) to trace, they have become attractive to persons engaged in illegal transactions, raising concerns about the ethics of using bitcoins. Macaskill is aware of the concerns and has controls at Amagi Metals to address them.
“Because we’re in the precious metals business, we have always been careful about who we sell to,” he says. “There are regulations in our industry to prevent illegal commerce, and we apply those to all our purchases, whether they’re in bitcoins or dollars. Ultimately it comes down to knowing your customer, and we go to great lengths to assure that all of our transactions are on the up-and-up.”
Ultimately, whether a business trades in bitcoins or not is based on their belief in them as a viable currency. If they choose to trade in bitcoins, there are other benefits in accepting them such as minimal transaction costs and instant access to funds that make them more attractive than traditional money transfers.
Amagi Metals and Stephen Macaskill are believers and plan to maintain their position as a major player in the bitcoin economy.