Novogratz Invests $15 M in Crypto Startup

  • AlphaPoint Corp becomes Galaxy Digital latest partner
  • Billionaire Novogratz on a mission to develop cryptosphere
  • Galaxy Digital set to be institutional-quality merchant bank for digital currency

Ex-hedge funder manager, Mike Novogratz has invested $15m in AlphaPoint Corp, an exchange platform that supports blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, in an effort to further develop the crypto-sphere. The announcement from Bloomberg on Thursday, confirms that Novogratz’s firm, Galaxy Digital will be part of this effort.

In a statement, Novogratz said:

“We are in the early stages of a fundamental transformation in financial markets due to the digitization of assets. We are excited to partner with AlphaPoint as we continue to help drive this revolutionary change in digital markets.”

Mike Novogratz

Novogratz, who is a billionaire and crypto enthusiast, wants to develop Galaxy Digital into what he reportedly calls an institutional-quality merchant banking business in digital currency and blockchain.

In May, Galaxy Digital partnered with Bloomberg to create the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index (BGCI), a tool intended for corporate-level investment funds to track market performance. BGCI will track ten cryptocurrencies from the largest, most liquid portion of the cryptocurrency market.

This latest investment adds to Galaxy Digital’s growing list of partnerships and investments in the cryptocurrency space. According to Bloomberg, in January the investor rolled out a plan to raise $191m to list Galaxy shares and announced he is building the “Drexel of crypto.”

Founded in 2013, New York City-based AlphaPoint has also attracted investment from Blockchain Capital, according to its website. In April, the firm said it was partnering with the Royal Mint and CME Group Inc. to launch a platform for trading digital gold.

Greg Wasserman, managing director of Galaxy Digital Ventures, will join AlphaPoint’s board of directors.

Binance Acquires Crypto Debit Card Issuer for an Undisclosed Sum

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has acquired cryptocurrency debit card issuer Swipe for an undisclosed sum, in a deal that gets the platform one step closer to issuing its Binance Card.

Finance Magnates reports the firms shared revealed the companies will “work together to further mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies,” by further bringing fiat and digital assets together. The deal will allow for cryptos to be used as a payment method in the traditional financial system.

Binance unveiled its plan to launch a Visa crypto debit card earlier this year, but was having difficulties implementing it. The acquisition of crypto start Swipe should help fix these difficulties and support the exchange in its “mission of making crypto more accessible to the masses.”

Per Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, off-ramps are a key component to be considered in its mission. He added:

By giving users the ability to convert and spend crypto directly, and have merchants still seamlessly accept fiat, this will make the crypto experience much better for everyone.

Binance and Swipe listed each other’s native tokens as part of the deal. Binance now has trading pairs for Swipe’s SXP token, while the Binance Coin (BNB) was added to the cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and fiat currencies available as a payment method on Swipe.

Swipe, it’s worth noting, converts cryptoassets into fiat currencies at the point of purchase. Users pay in a cryptoassets of their choice, which is then converted into fiat currency the merchant receives, so the latter does not have to manage cryptoassets, or accept payments in them directly.

Swipe’s cards are issued by Contis Financial Services, a visa Principal Member regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. They are available in 31 countries within the European Economic Area, and support transactions in euros, pounds, U.S. dollars, Korean won, and Philippine pesos.

The firm’s CEO Joselito Lizarondo revealed partnering will Binance will “place Swipe in the position to make cryptocurrencies more accessible for millions of users worldwide.” Binance Card users will be able to get up to 4% cashback in bitcoin on their purchases, which will be available in over 50 million locations in the world.

Featured image via Pixabay.