Cyprus based Bitcoin exchange Authenta Trade have recently been acquired by Costas Inc., providing the company with an injection of 32 mil. USD to its business plan, and to become a licensed exchange and Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) after the approval of regulator.
“AuthentaTrade wants to offer free deposit insurance, liquidity in both legacy and digital currencies, along with convenient payment options for both consumers and retailers. Our goal is to build, acquire, and connect multiple technologies to offer individuals and businesses a compelling suite of Bitcoin-related products and services for trading and payments,” says company in its announcement.
The US publicly traded company Costas Inc. focuses on investing in diverse digital currency businesses “in the most exciting space anyone has seen in a decade”. “Security has been a weak spot to-date in the space, and we intend to emerge as the leader in security through our first acquisition. We feel confident that capital investment is all that's needed to bring the level of security with respect to handling of the coins to the level of security encrypted in the coins themselves. One of the largest hurdles digital currencies have encountered is lack of liquidity and transparency,“ says their web-page.
“AuthentaTrade has a very strong team in place, with many connections to being able to scale quickly by leveraging these relationships, Dennis Karenga, CEO of Costas Inc. told CT. According to him Cyprus is a very efficient jurisdiction from both a regulatory and staffing perspective.
“Applying for a license is the first step. Getting it the is the second. That will take at least a year after a year of going back and forth with regulators who will have a very challenging time trying to put together appropriate regulations for an exchange in the crypto sector. If they apply traditional regulatory models then they will lose much of the benefits of crypto. My hope is that the license would take into account that half the job can be done for them using the Blockchain, but I won’t hold my breath” Simon Dixon, CEO BnkToTheFuture.com and Fund Manager of Bitcoin Capital commented for CT.
Cyprus has been a financial centre for many years, though it's reputation took a hit after an infamous one-time levy on some bank deposits in 2013. Since then University of Nicosia has started accepting Bitcoin and offering a Masters degree in Digital Currencies and a sort of Bitcoin bank called Neo & Bee started its operation there but had quickly shut down after the founder had been convicted of fraud.
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