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. 

Venezuela: 49 Retail Stores Start Accepting Crypto Payments Using Pundix’s PoS Devices

One of the largest chains of department stores in Venezuela, Traki, is set to start accepting cryptocurrency payments at its 49 retail stores thanks to PundiX’s point-of-sale (PoS) device XPOS.

According to a press release, the Singapore-based blockchain firm’s devices are helping Traki’s 49 stores accept ten cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, BNB, DAI, and NEM. The stores will also accept lesser known cryptocurrencies like KuCoin Shares (KCS), Kyber Network (KNC), and Digix Gold Token (DGX), as well as PundiX’s own NPXS and NPXSXEM tokens.

Zac Cheah, co-founder and CEO of the Singapore-based startup, was quoted as saying:

Traki has been one of the early adopters of cryptocurrencies in Venezuela, which highlights its commitment to improve the traditional financial system. We hope the XPOS further expands the crypto use cases that customers have come to expect from Traki.

Michael Gomez, Traki’s chief of cryptoasset, noted the company is always looking to offer its customers the “most convenient options,” and added cryptocurrencies have proven to be an effective payment solution.

Venezuela’s economy has been suffering from hyperinflation in the last few years, which has been seeing the country’s situation worsen as time goes by. Per Bloomberg’s Café Con Leche Index, Venezuela’s annual inflation ration over the past 12 months was of 35,900%. PundiX notes the situation makes cryptos “a necessary form of commercial trade.”

Bitcoin trading volumes on the peer-to-peer crypto exchange LocalBitcoins have hit an all-time high earlier this year in Venezuela, seemingly as a result of the country’s situation. While some tout Dash is the most widely-used crypto in the country, the assertion has been questioned.

PundiX’s XPOS device is being used in over 30 countries, the press release adds, and the company is said to be planning to roll out an addition 100,000 to the market by 2021.