Coinsquare Enters the ATM Market with Just Cash Acquisition

Canadian-based cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinsquare has announced the acquisition of a controlling stake in the United States-based Fintech startup Just Cash, according to a press release.

The acquisition was aimed to get ahold of the proprietary software developed by Just Cash, whose tech enables traditional ATMs to sell cryptocurrency, with no hardware installations or modifications required. In addition to that, there are no additional costs to the operator.

Following this acquisition, Coinsquare will now be able to offer users the chance to utilize their debit cards on ATMs to make digital currency transactions.

The technology works similarly to any other debit card transaction. After the consumer inserts their debit card into the ATM, they are given the option to withdraw cash or to purchase one of several cryptocurrencies, including BTC. Upon approval of the transaction, the ATM prints out a receipt with a public key, a private key, and a QR code.

Coinsquare CEO Cole Diamond believes crypto-friendly ATMs are key to making digital assets accessible to the masses. He claims there is a lack of mainstream cryptocurrency assimilation at the moment due to the fact that many are intimidated by the process needed to acquire it.

“By using the millions of existing ATMs around the world, we can now bridge the gap and give new users the easiest and most familiar experience to purchase cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is new and unfamiliar to many, but ATMs are not. By tapping into the existing global ATM network, cryptocurrency can finally reach the masses. We are bringing that familiar and trusted process into the cryptocurrency world, and vice versa, for the first time.”

He further stated that the company is hoping to license its software to the millions of ATMs around the world.

The exchange platform stated that it plans to launch the service globally, starting with the U.S. The company claims it has partnered with three major producers of non-bank ATMs – which remain undisclosed. There are approximately 250,000 non-bank ATMs that can be potentially upgraded with this feature. Coinsquare believes this will open the doors to installing the service on some 170,000 machines, or half of all the non-bank ATMs across the US by the end of next year.

“We will outnumber the total number bitcoin ATMs within a year,” Diamond said.

CEO Diamond further claimed that this feature will bridge the gap between traditional banking and the crypto industry; however he does not expect to integrate the software with bank partners anytime soon.

Meanwhile, Just Cash will continue to operate independently under the Coinsquare. The news follows reports that Vancouver is considering a ban of Bitcoin ATMs due to their ties with money laundering. Earlier this year, Coinsquare announced the launch of its own stablecoin – eCAD – pegged to the Canadian dollar.

Goldman Sachs Contemplating Their Entrance Into the Cryptocurrency Industry

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon has disclosed in a French newspaper that the company is doing extensive research on tokenization.

In interview with French newspaper Les Echos on June 27th, CEO David Solomon claimed that the group may eventually take part in the crypto disruption of finance.

He further said the bank could absolutely follow JPMorgan Chase in launching a cryptocurrency. Hence the bank’s carrying out extensive research on asset tokenization as well as stablecoins.

When asked about potential involvement with Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project, the CEO declined to comment on the matter. However, he said he found the concept rather interesting. He further added that tokenization and stablecoins are the direction in which the payment system will go.

Notably, when asked whether Goldman Sachs will follow JPMorgan Chase in launching its own virtual currency, Solomon stated:

“Assume that all major financial institutions around the world are looking at the potential of tokenization, stablecoins and frictionless payments.”

Nonetheless, he believes it’s too early to say which platform might ultimately win out.

As for crypto regulation, Solomon predicted that regulations will change in response to virtual currencies given that regulators around the world are carefully observing payment flows. However, he doesn’t think new players in the crypto space will cause banks to close. He added:

“Admittedly, they will have to evolve, because the trades linked to the payment flows will become less profitable. But there are many other reasons why banks must remain innovative, otherwise they will disappear.”

Solomon has pointed out as well that tech giants such as Facebook would like to avoid the regulatory constraints that banks face, making it more likely that they would try to enter into partnerships rather than become financial institutions themselves.

Meanwhile, earlier this week reports suggested that JPMorgan Chase is set to begin piloting its own cryptocurrency by the end of this year.

Dubbed the JPM Coin, it will initially run on top of Quorum – the private version of Ethereum the bank developed in conjunction with EthLab – and could be used to settle a fraction of transactions between clients of its wholesale payments business in near real time. The bank revealed earlier that it is currently starting trials of the coin with clients.

Telegram to Hold a Partial Public Sale via Liquid Crypto Exchange

Messaging app giant Telegram’s gram token, previously sold to accredited investors in one of the bigger ICOs of 2018, is finally going on public sale, a press release confirmed on June 11th.

According to the news, a limited sale of the gram token will be hosted by cryptocurrency exchange Liquid from July 10th.

The offering comes before a full public sale planned for October. However no further details about the sale have been disclosed to the public. The sale will ensue via Gram Asia, which claims to be the largest holder of gram tokens.

Prior to this, grams have been sold only to accredited investors in Telegram’s massive two-phase private initial coin offering (ICO) back in February and March of 2018, which subsequently raised  around $1.7 billion for its Telegram Open Network (TON) project and was by far the largest fundraise made via a crypto token offering.

The Telegram Open Network (TON) was an ambitious blockchain project with the goal to decentralize multiple facets of digital communication, varying from file sharing to browsing to transactions.

According to the gram sale page on Liquid’s official website:

TON brings speed and scalability to a multi-blockchain architecture that addresses the need for minimal transaction times and airtight security.”

Liquid CEO Mike Kayamori has stated in the press release that:

“We share the vision for a more secure and open value transfer system in order to enable the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies.”

He further added that the TON blockchain infrastructure could help boost Telegram’s current capacity as well as efficiency as a peer to peer network of value, with the launch of their cryptocurrency light wallets for Telegram’s highly engaged user base.

Meanwhile, the sale is open to all investors globally; however it excludes several nations including the U.S. and its territories as well as Japan, most likely due to regulatory reasons that the token could be considered a security within those jurisdictions.

Investors interested in participating in the sale on the Liquid platform can purchase grams with either U.S. dollars or the USDC stablecoin. According to the official website, a full token launch is expected at the end of October.

Notably, any gram tokens sold in the upcoming offering will not be immediately tradeable.

“The tokens being sold will not be released until after TON goes live (mainnet release), in accordance with the delivery schedule. Purchasers will not be able to transfer, withdraw, or trade the Grams before they are released.”

This news comes roughly two weeks after Telegram released a testnet version of the TON client, which itself follows an extensive development process and the Q3 launch date.

As of press time, Telegram has not released any official comments regarding the news.

BitMex Ventures Invests in Philippines-Based Crypto Exchange

Philippines Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX), a Philippines-based cryptocurrency exchange platform recently received an undisclosed sum of funding from BitMEX Ventures.

Founded in 2017, PDAX currently works closely with selected regulators to ensure safe and secure buying and selling of digital assets. Besides regulatory developments, the cryptocurrency exchange also seeks to enable the trading of commodities, real estate equities, and debt securities in tokenized form.

PDAX obtained its virtual currency exchange (VCE) license from the Philippine central bank Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) last year, enabling the exchange of Philippine Piso against cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), among others.

The co-founder and CEO of PDAX, Nichel Gaba, says a limited infrastructure in the country has left consumers struggling to access financial products and services. He added:

“Through digital assets and blockchain, we want to even the playing field to give every Filipino from all walks of life the ability to grow their hard-earned wealth.”

PDAX says it is working closely with regulators to ensure the safe and secure buying and selling of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets at the best price on the market.

BitMEX Ventures – the investment arm of the popular BitMex trading platform – has made a number of investments since inception in 2018, and is committed to advancing financial inclusion and accessibility to trading cryptocurrencies.

Arthur Hayes, the co-founder and CEO of BitMEX, said the cryptocurrency trading platform sees a large amount of trading volume from consumers in the Philippines — adding he was confident in PDAX’s ability to increase cryptocurrency adoption in the country while helping the public learn more about digital assets.

In April, payment services firm Bitspark announced plans to release a cryptocurrency pegged to the Philippine Piso.

And earlier in the year, Western Union partnered with the Philippines-based Coins.ph to enable consumers to conduct cross-border money transfers and receive funds directly into their e-wallets.

Galaxy Digital Sells Stake in Block.one

Galaxy Digital, founded by former hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz, has received $71.2 million after selling its shares in Block.one, according to reports on May 21st.

According to the announcement, Galaxy Digital accepted a tender offer on its ordinary shares in Block.one, closing the transaction on Monday.

Galaxy Digital has reported the sale of its shares, claiming it generated a 123% return on its realized investment and following the transaction, its remaining shares in Block.one “will no longer maintain a material investment position.

Galaxy Digital and Block.one had partnered up in a joint venture in 2018 to invest $325 million into the EOS ecosystem. Block.one is the main development company behind the EOS protocol.

The crypto merchant bank received $71.2 million in the deal, relinquishing its material investor position. Such labelling usually means a position of more than $100 million. However, the company stated that it takes multiple factors into account to determine whether a position is material.

Michael Novogratz, CEO and founder of Galaxy Digital, has stated that the acceptance of the tender offer was a decision made in order to rebalance and appropriately diversify its portfolio as a result of the shares substantially outperforming other areas. He further added that this development does not mean the end to Galaxy’s partnership with Block.one.

According to the Novogratz, both companies will continue to work on other projects such as the Galaxy EOS VC Fund, which primarily backs startups that are developing applications on the EOS blockchain network.

We continue to work closely with Block.one as a key partner across a number of our business lines, including the Galaxy EOS VC Fund, which invests in companies building on the EOS.IO protocol, and remain excited about the EOS.IO protocol,” he said in a statement.

Meanhwile, in July of last year, Block.one received financing from a number of big-name investors such as PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu.

Galaxy Digital’s exit comes as part of Block.one’s buyback program of 10 percent of its company shares.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Block.one’s shares repurchase offer is valued at around $2.3 billion, up nearly 66 times from what it was valued at back in 2017 at the funding round. Currently, the repurchase price for the buyback is approximately $1,500 per share, whereas during the 2017 funding round it was offered at $22.5 per share.

The report further revealed that Block.one had about $3 billion in assets including cash and investments at the end of February, according to data sent by Block.one sent to shareholders and the news outlet. In addition to that, Block.one owns as many as 140,000 Bitcoin (BTC).