As we noted on Sunday, Cyprus-based Neo & Bee has carried out the launch of their first (and flagship) branch in the Engomi suburb of Nicosia.
This bitcoin financial services company is the first of its kind, opening physical bank-like branches to make interacting with the complex digital currency simple.
The launch has been highly-publicized in the nation, from TV to paper press, billboards, and general word of mouth.
With today’s launch come three new products (as noted yesterday):
The Instant-Access Bitcoin Wallet will be a standard bitcoin wallet that allows users to store their funds. The company will earn revenue on these particular accounts by charging a fee when converting from Euro to bitcoin. Consumers who seek this type of account will receive a Bee card (which looks like a credit card), which can be used at retail locations in Cyprus and “through existing Bitcoin payment gateways”.
Neo’s Time-Locked Wallets will allow consumers to hold their bitcoins for a pre-determined amount of time — allowing them to convert back to Euros on an agreed-to date for the value at which they were when the wallet was established or the value of bitcoin at the time of the exchange. Gains (should the value go up) would be limited to a certain level. This solution protects the value of what has been stored from bitcoin’s famous volatility.
Finally, Merchant Wallets are available to merchants would wish to accept bitcoin payments (with no transaction fees applicable):
Merchants will have the ability to determine the exact percentage of revenue they wish to retain as Bitcoins and how much they wish to convert instantly to Euros as settlement. Merchants may accept payments into their bank account through electronic transfer, or collect as cash from one of the Neo branches. Should the merchant choose to access their money through one of our branches, they will have access to those funds within one minute of accepting the payment.
Additional services and a payment network will be available. For more on that, visit their homepage.
While Neo’s services are only available to Cyprus residents, they hope to expand throughout the European Union in the future. We’ll have opening stats just as soon as they become available.