Why I Started Vimba

Sam Blackmore| Mar 31, 2020


I have been operating the bitcoin investment platform, Vimba, since 2014. In the past four years, the company grew to become one of the leading bitcoin startups in New Zealand and, more importantly, has brought bitcoin into the hands of thousands of people. 


I want to share with you why I started Vimba and what drives me to continue to improve our product today. 


Enter Bitcoin 

I first came across Bitcoin in 2011 when I saw it mentioned in an article in a Linux magazine titled “Is Bitcoin the Most Open Source Dangerous Project We've Ever Seen?” 


As a Linux guy, I understand the power of the open-source development model. 


Linux started as a hobby project managed by Linus Torvalds in the early 1990s. Today, 100% of the world’s top 500 supercomputers and 95% of the world’s servers run Linux, and 85% of all smartphones are based on Linux. All this is the accumulation of hackers and programmers from around the world contributing to an open-source project. 


To me, it seemed like a no-brainer that Bitcoin would go the same way. I believe that Bitcoin is the next layer on top of the open-source revolution because the Internet needed some sort of way to pass value from one person to another. And that is exactly what Bitcoin does. 


Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that operates on a global, permissionless peer-to-peer network. That means anyone in the world with an internet connection can join the network and use bitcoin. 


Bitcoin’s earliest slogan (or at least the one that stuck the most) was “be your own bank.” It made sense. 


Bitcoin enables anyone across the globe to effectively be their own bank. Using Bitcoin, you can store, send, and receive money in digital form without the need of a financial intermediary. In that sense, Bitcoin acts as a global, borderless digital bank account. 


In the early years of Bitcoin, it was considered as a high-speed, low-cost digital currency. In recent years, Bitcoin evolved more into a gold-like digital investment asset. That is why bitcoin is now more often than not referred to as “digital gold.”


Regardless of whether you want to use bitcoin as an alternative currency for digital payments or as an investment asset, for Bitcoin to succeed, we need global mass adoption. 


Enter Vimba

Not too long after first coming across Bitcoin, I launched the company Vimba. I saw that the success of Bitcoin was inevitable and I wanted to play my part in its success. 


My mission was - and still is - to get bitcoin into the hands of as many people as possible. I want to create tools to get Bitcoin into the real world. 


Originally called MyBitcoinSaver, we enabled New Zealanders to save in bitcoin by setting up recurring bank payments. 


In NZ, it was always difficult to buy bitcoin. International exchanges never successfully entered this market and most local exchanges have struggled to establish themselves. 


To make it as simple as possible for Kiwis to get their hands on bitcoin, I created a service that enables individuals to invest in BTC at regular intervals in an automated manner simply by setting up recurring bank payments. 


I also wanted to make bitcoin investing accessible to everyone. So, I set the minimum purchase to $20 NZD. Therefore, even individuals who have very little money to spare can save in bitcoin. 


Crypto critics will say that investing in Bitcoin will almost certainly lead to a complete loss of funds. I disagree. Bitcoin is succeeding. It is being used every day around the world in nearly every country. Very few people are betting against Bitcoin in the long-term. 


This spark of genius started over eleven years ago in a quiet corner of the internet. Today, this perfect combination of mathematics and network technology enables billions of dollars to exchange hands every day directly from one person to another at the tap of a button.


An estimated 23 million entities hold bitcoin, according to the latest reaction and, by almost all metrics, bitcoin adoption is on the rise. If adoption - as an alternative currency and/or as an investment asset - continues at the current rate, we could very well see new highs that are much higher than the $20,000 per coin we saw in December 2017. I am convinced that will be the case and I am putting my money where my mouth is. 


After all, I put money into bitcoin every week - you guessed it - using Vimba