Digital news, information and data aggregator ZeroBlock has arrived on the Android mobile platform. The company’s tagline promises “An intuitive design for an intuitive currency”.
ZeroBlock’s founders Dan Held and Kevin Johnson have witnessed a recent surge of interest in bitcoin, so it made sense for them to expand to Android. Held told CoinDesk:
“With the price of BTC moving so rapidly, we wanted to get our product to market ASAP.”
Although the company has an app in the Apple iOS Store already, Android gives ZeroBlock access to many new users who may be interested in bitcoin information on-the-go. “Android is eight to nine times the iOS market,” Held added.
Many bitcoiners favour Android handsets over iPhones because of Apple’s strict policy surrounding bitcoin apps. Earlier this month, Apple removed the Coinbase app from the App Store, less than one month after its launch.
Held revealed that ZeroBlock was created to fulfil the increasing demand for bitcoin data on-the-go, especially since the currency’s price began rising back in April. “We kept checking our phones, and we wanted live market data,” he said.
Using Johnson’s talents as a mobile developer on the Ripple team, an iOS app was created, followed by the web interface. The design is simple, with no additional menus.
Held said: “We wanted something simple, clean – something [that] doesn’t need a tutorial. We used grayscale because colour evicts emotion, especially for a financial market like bitcoin.”
The app lacks colour, unless a user is prepared to pay for it. That’s ZeroBlock’s business model: offering a basic version, and charging extra for add-ons. Held adds that ZeroBlock is all about “in-app revenue. You pay $2 for colour indicators and charts”.
ZeroBlock pulls its data from over 130 sources. Among other things, it scrapes Google News and company blogs, along with the Bitcointalk forum.
The company’s early numbers indicate mobile information on virtual currency markets could be a fast-growing phenomenon. Held says the iOS app can often reach 50,000 opens per day. Adding Android into the mix, Held forecasts that those numbers will increase, with a whole new platform obtaining access.
ZeroBlock plans to add more charts soon, as well as advanced analytics, and a tablet version of the app is also on the horizon. Additionally, new methods of monetization are expected as Held promised that sponsored news feed posts would arrive soon.
However, “It will have an asterisk to show it is a promoted article,” he said.