A digital payments app aiming to bring smaller crypto transactions into the mainstream has closed down.
Bottlepay, based at Hoults Yard in Newcastle, claimed to be the first to enable users to send Bitcoin via a tweet when it was launched by Partnerize co-founder Pete Cheyne in 2021.
Big things were expected when it claimed to have racked up £1.7 million of transactions in its first month having attracted 20,000 beta users after being rated as the No.1 Bitcoin startup globally by Crunchbase.
A seed funding round of £11m including British fund manager Alan Howard, present and former Goldman Sachs partners, FinTech Collective and Nydig also grabbed headlines. It was then said to have been acquired by Bitcoin company New York Digital Investment Group in a $300m shares deal.
Built on the Lightning Network, it also supported conventional currencies, enabling users to send and receive Bitcoin and other currencies anywhere in the world, in real-time. Using the system, any purchase that is immediately fulfilled – from coffees to digital content – could be made from anywhere in the world.
Users could also buy, store, send and withdraw Bitcoin with a single slide, unlike other digital payment platforms like PayPal and Revolut, whose users cannot currently spend or withdraw their Bitcoin.
In January it was granted registration as a Cryptoasset Business from the Financial Conduct Authority.
“We’re very sorry to say that the Bottlepay consumer app will be closing on Monday 24th July 2023,” the company said. “Before that date, you should withdraw your funds, either as Bitcoin or fiat currency, from the Bottlepay app.
“Over the coming days, we will be stopping all deposits and exchanges from fiat to Bitcoin. Therefore, you will only be able to exchange from Bitcoin to fiat and withdraw both fiat and Bitcoin.
“We’ve loved every minute of running Bottlepay, and we’re incredibly grateful to you, the customers who let us do it for as long as we did. We wanted to offer you a safe, efficient place to get your Bitcoin and use it for payments, and we’re really sorry to put you through the inconvenience of having to leave us.
“We can’t make recommendations about what to do with your Bitcoin – whether to find another custodial wallet, custody it yourself, or convert it to fiat and withdraw to your bank account.
“If you are going to use another custodial wallet, though, we recommend you do your diligence on the provider first.”