CoinJar pegs bitcoin to standard currencies

Australia's CoinJar has introduced a Hedged Accounts offering that pegs bitcoin to standard currencies such as the US dollar and pound sterling.

Australian bitcoin company Coinjar has found a way to allay some of its customers' fears over the fluctuating value of the digital currency, introducing a new hedged accounts offering aimed at locking in the fiat money price of bitcoin.

Hedged accounts allow users to peg the price of bitcoin against a number of currency options, including Australian dollars, US dollars, British pounds, and euros.

While the new offering won't actually help alleviate fluctuations in the crypto-currency's value, it will allow users who buy a bitcoin at, say, its current $223.24 value -- at the time of writing -- and retain precisely AU$223.24 worth of bitcoin in their hedged account, no matter how bitcoin value may fluctuate.

If bitcoin value soars to AU$446.48, the account holder would own 0.5 bitcoin, worth $223.24, whereas if the bitcoin value drops to $111.62, the bitcoin owner would possess 2 bitcoin.

According to CoinJar, there is no additional charge and no time limit on its hedged accounts. Bitcoin users can change or unhedge that value at any time. In practical terms, CoinJar's new account option allows the value of a user's bitcoin wallet to remain stable.

Users with a CoinJar swipe EFTPOS card will also be able to transfer the amount held in hedged accounts to their swipe account for use on everyday purchases.

CoinJar CEO Asher Tan said that the new accounts would benefit people who want to start out with bitcoin for practical purposes, but don't want to manage it actively or worry about fluctuating prices.

"While some users enjoy the speculative aspects of bitcoin, there are others who would like to hold bitcoin without worrying too much about the volatility. Hedged accounts makes bitcoin a more stable currency, and more useful to more people," Tan said.

The volatile nature of bitcoin value has been a compelling prospect for risk-oriented investors of the crypto-currency looking to potentially make a quick profit on their investment.

The value of bitcoin has swung wildly from a high of $1,124.76 in 2013 to a low in January of $175. Since then, it has slowly edged its way back up to well over $200.

While CoinJar's new offering provides risk-averse bitcoin buyers some peace of mind, the collapse of other bitcoin players in the global market and the digital currency's use by black market sites like the now-defunct Silk Road remain a source of concern to those interested in investing in the crypto-currency market.

On Monday, it emerged that Hong Kong bitcoin exchange MyCoin unexpectedly closed its doors, potentially leaving up to 3,000 investors out of pocket to the tune of a combined HK$3 billion ($387 million).

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), at least 30 concerned MyCoin clients are moving to file reports to the police on the grounds that the exchange's closure was part of a deception involving a pyramid-style Ponzi scheme dressed up as bitcoin trading.

Investors said they were lured by promises of a HK$1 million four-month return for buying a HK$400,000 contract, according to the SCMP.

The MyCoin closure came almost a year after Tokyo-based Mt Gox -- once one of the largest and most popular bitcoin exchanges in the world -- collapsed, filing for bankruptcy after more than $500 million worth of bitcoin vanished.

Just last month, Japanese police reportedly indicated that they believe the majority of bitcoin that went missing from Mt Gox was due to insider tampering, with only about 1 percent being lost due to cyber attack.