BitMEX Launches VC Division, “BitMEX Ventures,” Mirroring Coinbase, Huobi

Justine Pope

BitMEX, the world’s largest Bitcoin derivatives exchange, is launching their own VC division, according to The Block. Led by Kumar Dandapani, a former partner at the quant research firm Nth-Degree Analytics, BitMEX joins Huobi, Coinbase, and Binance in the group of exchanges diving into VC. BitMEX has not officially announced its new endeavour and it is yet to be confirmed.

BitMEX and VC

Although the rumours are unconfirmed, BitMEX has previously diversified into venture capital. Last month, CryptoGlobe reported that BitMEX was an investor in Blockfolio, the cryptocurrency portfolio tracking app. In their recently completed Series A financing round, Blockfolio raised $11.5M, receiving investment from BitMEX, Huobi, and other prominent cryptocurrency funds.

One member of BitMEX Ventures is Maxim Wheatly. His LinkedIn profile records that Wheatley has been working at BitMEX since September, as head of venture development. His role is to lead “global seed-stage investment and partnership activities," a title which would suggest increasing VC interest from BitMEX.

Other Exchanges and VC

BitMEX is not the first cryptocurrency exchange to diversify into venture capital, and it’s no surprise that the Seychelles-based exchange giant is joining the VC space. Previously, the United State’s favorite exchange, Coinbase, launched Coinbase Ventures, a VC group that has so far invested in more than 20 cryptocurrency companies.

Huobi has also joined the venture capital scene. Earlier this year, it was announced that they would be launching a $1 billion fund for Chinese blockchain companies. Called Huobi Labs, this fund would not only be a VC firm, but also an incubator, helping expand China’s influence throughout the cryptocurrency industry.

Finally, exchange giant Binance has created Binance Labs, a cryptocurrency incubator that will give startups $500,000 in exchange for a 10% equity share. Binance is also one of the only exchanges to complete a public acquisition, when in July it purchased Trust Wallet, a mobile Ethereum wallet and dApp browser. 

Zcash 'Company' Changes Name to 'Zerocoin Electric Coin Company' for More 'Clarity'

The Zcash company, which supports the ongoing development of the Zcash (ZEC) platform, a leading privacy-oriented cryptocurrency, has rebranded to the Electric Coin Company.

According to an official company blog post, the name change from “Zcash company” to “Electric Coin Company” was made in order to have more clarity. Explaining that the “legal name” for the firm was always “the Zerocoin Electric Coin Company, LLC”, the organization clarified that it had been referring to itself as “the Zcash company.”

However, the company’s blog noted that the development of “Zcash” is a community-based project and that some of the privacy coin’s business-related initiatives may involve the Zerocoin Electric Coin commercial entity. Moreover, Zerocoin’s operations are not directly associated with the Zcash Foundation - which in itself is a “separate and independent” organization, according to the z.cash blog post. Notably, the Zcash Foundation has “its own mission, team, and board of directors.”

Rebranding Process: New Domain, Change Office Sign

Acknowledging that it will take the company “a little while to get the new branding right, launch a new domain, and change out the sign at the office”, the company blog mentioned that “the name change is public.” Except for the name change, the entity associated with Zcash explained: 

We are the same team, with the same mission: to empower everyone with economic freedom and opportunity. We developed and help steward Zcash.

Zerocoin's Research & Engineering Projects May Not Be Integrated Into Zcash 

Notably, the Electric Coin Company is currently working on “research and engineering [projects] that may, or may not” be integrated into the Zcash codebase, the blog noted. At present, the Electric Coin team consists of around 30 professionals from across the globe that are involved in the following initiatives:

  • “Product Development and Support”,
  • “Builds Zcash software”,
  • “Participates in cryptographic research”,
  • “Works with third parties to perform regular security audits of Zcash”,
  • “Improves the safety and security of the Zcash network”,
  • “Works on the Zcash user experience, such as the reference wallet” 

Company Website, Social Media Accounts To Be Changed/Updated Soon

In addition to working collaboratively on the initiatives listed above, the Electric Coin company helps in “translating content into different languages”, creates "educational content”, and supports the overall development of the Zcash platform.

As mentioned in the company’s announcement, the Electric Coin company “information will be moved from https://z.cash/ to a new domain with its own website.” Social media accounts associated with the company will also be updated.