What Is Birake (BIR)?

Birake is a digital currency exchange that launched in mid-March of 2018, and calls itself the first "white label" service of this type. Birake also has its own blockchain, powered by the proof-of-stake Birake Coin (BIR).

Key Takeaways

  • Birake describes itself as a "white label" crypto exchange. They provide the exchange technology and infrastructure, and clients 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.
  • The Birake Network has a separate blockchain, powered by the Birake Coin (BIR). Users can stake BIR tokens to earn block rewards.
  • As of 2021, the project shows few signs of life, which founders have attributed to regulatory uncertainty.

Understanding Birake

Unlike other cryptocurrency platforms, Birake's innovation is to "white label" trading technology so that customers can create exchanges with their own unique branding.

The concept of white labeling was first developed for the retail industry, where manufacturers remove their brand name and logo from a product so that it can be rebranded by a distributor. Customers 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 its 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 create trading platforms quickly and easily.

Central to Birake's vision is the idea that the concentration of power among a few well-known exchanges goes against the principles of decentralization. For this reason, 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."

History of Birake

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 encountered many cryptocurrency trading platforms that were 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.

Following their initial token distribution, Birake developed exchange software using ten currencies from June through October of 2018, with an alpha version of the Birake exchange launching 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.

How to Earn Birake Token (BIR)

Birake is powered by the Birake token (BIR), which is used to pay network fees on the Birake blockchain. As a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency, it cannot be mined; users can earn new tokens by staking BIR to run network nodes. Users with a large number of BIR tokens can earn a larger share by running a master node.

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.

These tokens were originally launched on Ethereum, but the project later transitioned to a separate blockchain. 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 investors who had participated in the ICO, as well as to those participating in the development of the project, advertisers, and the marketing and communication team.

Concerns Regarding Birake

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 white paper 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 master nodes peak with more than 1,000 active Birake master nodes.

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 nine 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."

Since then, Birake has languished in the market, both in terms of exchange activity and the Birake token. As of April 17, 2021, the daily trading of Birake coin was less than $4,000 per day, according to CoinMarketCap, and exchange activity on the Birake Network totaled less than $20,000 per day. Daily activity on the Birake blockchain is limited to the collection of staking rewards.

The Bottom Line

Birake is one of many cryptocurrency projects which launched during the ICO boom of 2018. The project offered white-label exchange technology, allowing clients to easily create trading platforms with their own unique branding. However, the project has since languished and now shows little activity from the founders or clients.

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.