Certificate of Authenticity Company, Genuine COA, Brings BitCoin To The Convention Scene

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Along with offering Certificates of Authenticity for autograph signings at horror and comic conventions, Genuine COA is bringing Bitcoin awareness with them as they travel throughout Texas and around the country.

We plan to help raise awareness of bitcoin at every event we attend around the US. The more mainstream the currency becomes, the less volatile the market will be.

Genuine COA is an online retailer who attends conventions around the country where celebrities and athletes offer autographs and Genuine COA offers Certificates of Authenticity for the autographs. Now, in addition to Paypal and all major credit cards, Genuine COA is accepting Bitcoin as payment for their products. “We have received such a great reception to our business that we are continually expanding our offerings,” said Debra Anderson, Co-Manager of Genuine COA. “For example, we recently added a service we call Special Signings. If you cannot attend an event, Genuine COA can obtain the autograph, certify it and ship the signed memorabilia to you. It seems a natural fit that along with expanding our services, we expand the methods of payment that our customers can use to place their order on our site.”

Genuine COA not only sets up a booth at conventions, they are also a sponsor to such events as Texas Frightmare Weekend in May in Dallas, Wizard World Comic Cons in Philadelphia in May, Chicago in August and Austin in November and Alamo City Comic Con in San Antonio in October. At each function, they plan to offer bitcoin as a medium of exchange for their services. “One day, bitcoin will be a household name,” insists Debra Anderson, “and we hope that Genuine COA can help provide an introduction. We come into contact with tens of thousands of people through the conventions that we sponsor and attend. We just want to help educate as many as we can about the convenience of this new currency.”

Although still considered new, Bitcoin is a highly encrypted, peer-to-peer, digital currency that was developed and released in 2009. Four years later, bitcoin is quickly gaining ground around the world as a viable alternative to fiat (government regulated) currency. The "dollar" value of a single bitcoin sits around $103, right now, but has been as high as $250 in the past few weeks, according to exchange site Mt.Gox. The bitcoin's value is determined by trade, much like a stock, and, as in any market, has its ups and downs. But even so, while bitcoin began as an unknown currency, it is now a billion dollar market. Bitcoin appears to be here to stay. The virtual currency has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, CNNMoney, The New York Times, American Banker, Bloomberg and Fox News, among others. Almost daily, articles are popping up showing high profile people and companies getting involved with bitcoin. From the Winklevoss Twins, Wordpress and Fulfillment-by-Amazon to local bars, restaurants and even local City Governments whose websites can accept bitcoin for water bills and traffic tickets, bitcoin is becoming adopted world-wide.

More and more small businesses are getting involved because, like Genuine COA, they have discovered that the transaction fees are much lower and the merchant can ship items without having to worry about things like chargebacks. These two advantages can save small businesses a lot of money. And, bitcoin is very easy to use. There are many sites, like http://www.blockchain.info/wallet, where any average person can sign up for an anonymous "Wallet" to keep up with their bitcoins. In the example of Genuine COA, a customer can add their items to their Cart at http://www.genuinecoa.com and, upon checkout, select bitcoin for their payment method. “The site will generate a random wallet address, shown as a QR Code, the customer would scan the QR Code with their own digital wallet and approve the payment,” explains Chris Owens, Co-Manager of Genuine COA. “The payment is verified almost immediately and the transaction is processed in the same time a credit card or Paypal payment is processed. We could not be more pleased by the ease of use that bitcoin offers.”

"We feel that our company offers the highest level of authentication, by requiring a witness to the autograph, serializing both the Certificate of Authenticity and the item signed and providing a legal, notarized affidavit to back up the event. We do not offer an opinion on a signature, we offer legal testimony that we witnessed the item being signed. We are improving the way COA's are issued," said Genuine COA Co-Manager, Debra Anderson, "just like bitcoin is improving the way currency is exchanged. We just updated our site to accept the new form of compensation and are very excited to unveil the application right before our next events at Texas Frightmare Weekend, here in Dallas and then in Philadelphia at the Wizard World Comic Con at the end of May. We plan to help raise awareness of bitcoin at every event we attend around the US. The more mainstream the currency becomes, the less volatile the market will be."

Genuine COA was founded in 2012 with the purpose of offering a service that protects the athlete or celebrity from forgery and protects the person getting the autograph from doubts about authenticity. Most authenticators offer an opinion, usually by a handwriting “expert”, on the validity of an autograph with a rubber stamped Certificate stating that “in their opinion”, the autograph is genuine. In addition to providing a witness to the autograph, Genuine COA issues a Certificate of Authenticity personally signed by a representative of the company, complete with matching, tamper-evident, serialized stickers placed on both the Certificate and the item signed. After the event, users can search the assigned serial number on Genuine COA’s site, where anyone can find the description of the item and all of the signing details (including date, event, location, city/state, witness’ name and a link to the notarized affidavit filed by the witness attesting to the validity of the signature). The customer may even choose to upload pictures of the signed item, for further verification. While Genuine COA does not expect to receive a large percentage of their business through bitcoin, they prefer to stay ahead of the curve. They believe that bitcoin is on the cutting edge and want to take a position next to it. Genuine COA can see the day when bitcoin is used in every household around the world and they want to be ready for the next generation.

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