A cryptocurrency fund managed by Max Keiser and Simon Dixon has raised over US$1 million; GoCoin and Ziftr announce merger agreement; rewards programs exempted from New York's BitLicense; Bitreserve welcomes former MasterCard executive and more top stories for June 10.
Max Keiser's 'Bitcoin Capital' Investment Fund Raises over $1M in Crowdfunding
The fund, which sought to raise US$888,968, surpassed its initial goal on Thursday, June 4, with 6 days still remaining before the end of the campaign.
Max Keiser, a financial journalist and entrepreneur, commented:
"I have been critical of the traditional financial system for many years on my show. I was the first global news outlet to cover Bitcoin when it was trading at $3, recognizing its potential to change the world. Many startups in the Bitcoin space credit Keiser Report for getting them started in the business. Bitcoin Capital allows the founders and investors to experiment with new crypto financial business models and currencies to transform global finance."
GoCoin & Ziftr Announce Strategic Merger Agreement
Cryptocurrency payment processor GoCoin has announced a strategic merger agreement with Ziftr, a mobile wallet, e-commerce loyalty and credit card processing company.
Through the agreement, the two entities are looking to build a "hybrid traditional and digital currency payments powerhouse with a built-in customer loyalty program," according to a release.
Bob Wilkins, CEO of Ziftr, said:
"Ziftr has many of the necessary assets to accelerate mainstream adoption of digital currency, so merging with GoCoin and gaining access to its rapidly growing network of merchants gives our combined altcoin-friendly company the power to truly disrupt the $20 trillion global payments market. Our platform will allow merchants of all sizes to benefit from the transparency and efficiency of blockchain payments by giving them a better solution than what’s currently available."
Bitso Acquires Competing Bitcoin Exchange Unisend Mexico
Bitso, a Bitcoin exchange and Ripple gateway in Mexico, has announced it had acquired competing exchange Unisend Mexico in a strategic move aimed to consolidate its position as a leader on the Mexican market.
José Antonio Rodríguez, CEO at Unisend Mexico, will join the team as VP of Payments.
Commenting on the news, Pablo Gonzalez, CEO at Bitso, said:
"We are very excited to join forces with José, and we feel his impressive skills and experience will be a perfect compliment to advance our ambitious plans."
Boost.VC Diversifies Into Virtual Reality Tech
Startup accelerator Boost.VC is diversifying its focus, expanding from solely accepting bitcoin startups, to include companies working on virtual and augmented reality technologies, reported TechCrunch.
Co-founder Adam Draper, explained:
"We’re good at building communities around early tech sectors. We bring together investors, entrepreneurs, and builders, and by focusing investments on a category over time, we ourselves become experts in the subject, and thus more valuable to startups that might want to join."
BTCFlap: An Alleged Scam Operated By the Creators of BTCGaw
More allegations have surfaced suggesting that a cryptocurrency startup based in New York called BTCFlap is willing to buy bitcoins "15% above Blockchain.info's official rate," according to a release.
BTCFlap has been accused of being a scam, with claims from Dinbits of operating a Ponzi scheme. According to the latter, "98% of the entire content through out the [BTCFlap and BTCGaw] websites" are identical, suggesting that the operators of BTCFlap are the same ones as the known BTCGaw scam.
Furthermore, the company mentions as its media contact a certain "Brock Pierce." Whether or not they are referring to the Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, the real Brock Pierce told Cointelegraph that he "[has] no affiliation with these people," adding that the company does look fishy.
'Smart Securities' Startup Symbiont Secures $1.25M of Seed Funding
Symbiot, a technology company that seeks to create "smart securities" on the blockchain, has secured US$1.25 million of seed funding from leaders of the financial market, the company announced in a release.
Duncan Niederauer, former CEO of the NYSE Euronext and an investor in the round, said:
"Symbiont is bridging the gap between Wall Street and the emerging blockchain ecosystem. It's an exciting, timely and much-needed development for the long-term health of the markets."
SWIFT Innotribe Releases 'Power Women in FinTech Index' White Paper
SWIFT Innotribe released a white paper entitled “Power Women in FinTech Index: Bridging the Gender Gap,” where it presents a global index of 400 "powerful and impactful" women, suggesting that "organizations founded by women or that take leadership roles by empowering women in FinTech are more innovative and return better financial results."
Amy Ludlum, CFO at BitPesa, said in an interview included in the report:
"Lack of diversity within women in leadership. A handful of women occupy very powerful positions, and I’m proud that they do, however those women don’t necessarily represent me. Men have hundreds of thousands of professionally successful men to look up to. [...] ‘You can’t be what you can’t see.’"
Rewards Programs Exempted from NY BitLicense
Following the final release of the State of New York's BitLicense on June 3, many FinTech startups face increased scrutiny, but the new ruling excludes rewards programs, which has been a boon for RibbitRewards.
Speaking with Cointelegraph, CEO and co-founder of RibbitRewards, a rewards program built using the blockchain, said:
"[W]e have been in talks with a number of Fintech and large players within the Loyalty points industry, and this has really helped invigorate interest and confidence to go forward with us. People have been waiting to see what the ruling would be and now they want to move forward, which has been great. We need to recruit to keep up, so it’s a great problem to have!"
Bitreserve Welcomes Former MasterCard Executive as Chief Information Security Officer
William 'Bill' Dennings III, a former executive at Nike and MasterCard, has joined the Bitreserve team as the company's first Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).
Dennings, commented in an announcement:
"I'm excited to join Bitreserve at a time when the company is establishing itself as a leading cloud money service. Information security extends well beyond IT and customer service in the global payments sector. It's vital to the secure, instant, easy and free movement of money that Bitreserve offers our members."
Coinzone Launches in Poland
Bitcoin payment solution provider Coinzone, has announced the launch of its services in Poland, marking the company's next stage onto its ongoing European expansion, reported Finextra.
Manuel Heilmann, CEO and co-founder of Coinzone, said:
"We're excited to be part of such a vibrant Bitcoin market. Businesses in Poland are eager to attract growing numbers of Bitcoin users, and our launch will enable businesses large and small to respond to consumers with a convenient yet secure Bitcoin payment process that delivers an exceptional user experience."
Alt Convention Conference to Feature A. Antonopoulos, Jon Matonis, and more
Alt Convention, a three-day conference focusing on fintech innovations, will be held from October 8 to 10, in Batumi, Georgia, and will feature several big names from the crypto industry, including Andreas Antonopoulos, Jon Matoris, Tatiana Moroz, and more.
The conference will address ways that Bitcoin, next-gen blockchain, and other fintech developments can disrupt various sectors, such as law and finance.
David Ruebush, CEO of Global Bitbillions Group Incorporated and an organizer of the event, said in a release:
"Because of our own first-hand insight into the business, IT, and FinTech climate in Georgia, we decided to host Alt Convention. The legislative and banking climate, and growth opportunities in this emerging market are staggering."