Cryptocurrency exchange Cryex secured a US$10 million investment led by White Star Capital and Northzone Ventures in the first week of May. Following the multi-million dollar funding round, the Bitcoin startup plans to expand throughout Europe and introduce tier-one financial services to connect traditional regulated financial markets to the “blockchain economy.”
Managing Partner at White Star Capital, Eric Martineau-Fortin, explained that the investment into Cryex will allow the Bitcoin startup to pull “financial institutions into the digital currency ecosystem.”
Martineau-Fortin showed strong enthusiasm for Cryex’s experienced financial industry team, with banking and exchange executives and investment and asset management veterans. He stated:
“We are delighted to be involved in delivering a truly innovative solution where Blockchain technology meets tier one exchange and clearing technology in a regulated environment, finally attracting financial institutions into the digital currencies ecosystem.”
Simon Nathanson, Chairman of Cryex Clearing AB, explained, “Cryex has a unique model to clearing and settlement and has all the necessary components in place; financial-grade architecture and technology partners, a seasoned team and a number of high profile strategic investors from the financial sector.”
Although the “new blockchain product” expected to connect traditional regulated financial markets with blockchain “economy” has not yet been released, Cryex explains that the new product will allow “regulated market participants” to trade derivative products in a highly secure and regulated environment.
Pär-Jörgen Pärson from Northzone added, “CRYEX will transform crypto currencies from small, unconnected niche markets into a full monetary ecosystem and settlement network.”
Bitcoin Startups Expanding Across Europe
With the investment, Cryex plans to compete with the well-established Bitcoin startups including Coinbase, Safello, Coinzone and Bitpay.
Coinbase, Safello and Coinzone have all expanded throughout Europe in 2015, to support European merchants and to provide each European country with specific features, including local bank support and the ability to deposit or withdraw via bank wiring.
Coinzone, Coinbase and Safello
In an attempt to expand its service all throughout Europe, Bitcoin payment gateway and mobile point-of-sale solution provider Coinzone launched a bitcoin wallet for its European customers and merchants for both mobile platforms and web browsers. The wallet is just a simple bitcoin wallet with country specific features which allows users to deposit or withdraw through the local banks.
In April of 2015, Coinbase expanded its services to the UK to allow users based in the UK to trade on Coinbase exchange and to buy and sell BTCs with GBP in the Coinbase wallet.
Along with the UK-specific features, Coinbase also allowed its users to credit euros via SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area), British pounds and U.S. dollars (via wire transfer) to purchase BTCs using the Coinbase wallet or to trade on the Coinbase exchange.
In January of 2015, Swedish bitcoin exchange Safello, backed by Eric Voorhees and Roger Ver, expanded its exchange to Norway and Denmark, with local bank transfers to allow Norwegian users to deposit or withdraw through local banks. Safello entered the Norwegian digital currency market after DNB, Norway’s largest financial institution pulled its support of the country’s largest exchange JustCoin, forcing it to shut down operations. Safello launched its services in Norway to fill this gap.
With many of the well-established Bitcoin startups including Safello, Coinbase and Coinzone expanding throughout Europe, Cryex plans to join the competition by connecting the traditional regulated financial markets with the “blockchain economy,” and also expand into Europe. Although the platform hasn’t been released yet, Cryex will allow users to trade derivative products, which Pärson believes will transform cryptocurrencies from small, unconnected niche markets into a full monetary ecosystem and settlement network.