What Is Birake?

Birake, a digital currency exchange launched in mid-March of 2018, calls itself the first "white label" service of this type.

Key Takeaways

  • Birake describes itself as a "white label" crypto exchange: They provide the exchange technology and infrastructure, and you provide the customers and marketing.
  • Birake is based in Romania; consequently, it is difficult to get information on the company, and it falls outside the U.S. regulatory regime.
  • Birake has a coin necessary to use its platform: the Birake Coin (BIR).

Understanding Birake

What Birake Does

In the rapidly growing world of cryptocurrency exchanges, new entrants to the field must do something significant to distinguish themselves from the competition. Birake's innovation is to "white label" the technology behind the exchange so that its customers can focus on branding, sales, and other business issues.

The concept of white labeling was first developed for and is commonly used in the retail industry. When a product or service removes its brand name and logo from a product so that it can be rebranded by a distributor, this process is known as white labeling. Customers used to shop at major food retailers will recognize this process when they purchase "store brand" items. Birake believes that the concept can be applied to cryptocurrency exchanges as well.

According to Birake's website, through their service "everyone can rent and own their exchange platform. As all the exchanges using [Birake] will share their orders, your exchange will have plenty of active buy/sell orders from day 1." In principle, this means that ICO communities, supporters of all types of cryptocurrencies and tokens, and others in the industry will be able to generate trading platforms quickly and easily.

Central to Birake's vision is the idea that decentralization is a crucial component of the cryptocurrency space. Beyond that, Birake also takes as a given that the rise of a few well-known and highly popular cryptocurrency exchanges goes against this core principle. It is for this reason that the developers of Birake "believe that everyone should be able to create their own exchange with just a few clicks and that the orders should be openly shared across all exchanges in the market."

How Birake Works

Birake had its origins in 2010 as a software company with activity primarily in South America. According to the website for the exchange, Birake has "deployed automated trading systems, exchange platforms," and, lately, products in the "encryption area."

Throughout this process, Birake developers have grown tired of encountering cryptocurrency trading platforms that are overloaded or otherwise inoperable for an extended period of time. It was out of this frustration that the original conception for the Birake platform emerged.

The Birake Token: BIR

Birake is powered by the Birake token (BIR). BIR is a decentralized application token based on the ethereum blockchain and in line with ERC223 standards.

The token generation event for BIR took place beginning in March 2018 with interested parties able to buy BIR for ether or bitcoin. The first 50 million BIR were offered at a 30% discount, while the event was capped at a total of 225 million tokens.

Of the 225 million tokens available before the launch date, 90 million were available in the pre-sale, with another 135 million available in the main sale event. In total, the platform is designed to support 300 million BIR tokens.

In this distribution, tokens were distributed to ethereum wallets of investors in the crowdsale, as well as to those participating in the development of the project, advertisers, and the marketing and communication team.

Examples of Birake's Operations and Uses

Birake developed exchange software using 10 currencies from June through October of 2018, with an alpha version of the Birake exchange launched in October.

A beta version was launched in late 2018. Users were able to generate personal exchanges beginning in January 2019. The white-label exchange was launched the same year.

In a review of the Birake ICO, btcmanager.com suggested that the concept for the white-label exchange "seems somewhat vague, and it's difficult to determine if there's any high demand for the product that they're offering or if it's something that is of any importance to anyone in the cryptosphere." The review also suggested that the "whitepaper is fairly bland and empty," lacking details about "the actual project itself and how exactly they plan on erecting this exchange."

As the company is headquartered in Romania, the whitepaper and website are, as of March 2021, subject to numerous grammatical and spelling errors. There is no "about us" page on the Birake website, and emails asking for more information were not answered.

Birake formerly maintained a Medium blog that published a piece every four months or so until January 2020. Among its posts listed the company's stats for the year 2019:

  • Birake listed approximately 59 coins.
  • The Birake exchange was listed on directories including CoinMarketCap, CoinGecko, Coinpaprika, Coinlib, and Blockfolio.
  • In October, Birake reached its masternodes peak with more than 1,000 active Birake masternodes.

They also claim to have 25 team members and to be running 86 servers, though this could not be verified independently. The Medium post also claims Birake launched what appears to be a BIR buyback program:

Also at the beginning of the year, we launched “The Accumulator” program. Each month we gather some fees from trading. Multiple times per day we converted the fees to BTC and then The Accumulator bought BIR from the market with the converted BTC. Approximately about 15K BIRs were bought daily. 

This appears to be a way to increase the value of BIR by taking it out of circulation. The post had other ambiguous statements that could not be verified. For example, the author says, "We had more than 9 exchange partners. Because of the constant change of laws and regulations, or better because of lack of them, some decided to follow their own path or decided to shut down the business."

Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns bitcoin and ripple.