The Daily: Shapeshift Acquires Bitfract, Bitmain Invests in Tribeos
In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we cover stories about Shapeshift acquiring Bitfract, Bitmain investing in Tribeos, a dozen regulators from around the world setting up a global fintech sandbox and an ICO mogul reportedly buying a soccer team.
Shapeshift Acquires Bitfract
Shapeshift AG has announced the acquisition of Bitfract, an Austin, Texas-based software firm which recently developed a service that allows users to swap from one cryptocurrency to many in an instant. Following the sale, the tool will be maintained and continue to operate, and the functionality that the platform provides (multiple output transactions) will be incorporated into Shapeshift’s core platform in the near future.
“The Bitfract team made expert use of ShapeShift’s open API to build a product that we ourselves were planning to build,” said Erik Voorhees, Founder and CEO of Shapeshift. “This demonstrated a great alignment of strategy and thinking, and their execution was so exceptional that we wanted to bring their talented team and technology on board.” Willy Ogorzaly, Co-Founder and CEO of Bitfract, added: “When Erik asked if we wanted to join ShapeShift, the answer was immediately yes. We believe in a decentralized future where individuals freely control their digital wealth, and our team is honored to work alongside Erik and everyone at ShapeShift to make this a reality.”
Bitmain Invests in Tribeos
Bitmain Technologies Ltd., the Beijing-headquartered bitcoin mining hardware developer, made a $3 million seed investment in Tribeos – a digital advertising platform built on Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Funds are meant for building out the company’s core team and final development of the ads marketplace, scheduled to launch in 2019.
CEO Matt Gallant commented: “When industry leaders like Bitmain invest in a blockchain-based advertising platform like tribeOS, it signals a paradigm shift, not only in ad tech, but for the entire online advertising industry.” He added: “Every company doing online marketing has lost considerable amounts of money to scammers on digital advertising platforms. Fortunately, we now see a growing awareness about ad fraud. It’s about time. This has been an invisible crime for far too long. Platforms like ours will mean that the world’s value creators will no longer need to fight their way to sustainability, hoping to be one of the fortunate few who survive. tribeOS will end ad-fraud, allowing advertisers to find their audience quickly.”
Global Fintech Sandbox
A dozen financial regulators and related bodies have joined forces for the creation of a Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), based on the UK FCA’s proposal to create a ‘global sandbox’. The new network’s stated aim is to provide a more efficient way for firms to interact with regulators, helping them navigate between jurisdictions. It will also create a framework for co-operation between regulators on innovation-related topics. Current members include: Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF, Québec), Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP, USA), Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA, UK), Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC), Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).
ICO Mogul to Buy Soccer Team
According to newspaper reports from Israel, the serial entrepreneur and cryptocurrency advocate Moshe Hogeg has agreed to buy a local professional soccer team. Once the group’s debt issues are resolved, he will take over the Israeli Premier League member, Beitar Jerusalem Football Club, for 20 million shekels (about $5.4 million USD).
Hogeg is the man behind Sirin Labs, which raised $157.8 million in an initial coin offering (ICO) last year. The money was meant to be used to build an “ultra-secure” cold storage crypto wallet-phone which was promoted by soccer superstar Leo Messi. In June, he reportedly bought 5,000 square meters of private land to build himself a new house for about $19 million and paid 15% of that sum in crypto.
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