Cryptocurrency Exchange KuCoin Raises $20 Million in Funding Round

Francisco Memoria

KuCoin, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, has recently announced it raised $20 million in its series A funding round, from organizations that include IDG Capital, Matrix Partners, and Neo Global Capital.

According to a recently published post, the exchange is set to use the funds to launch its KuCoin platform 2.0, which will reportedly add new features such as upgraded APIs, stop orders, and a dust collecting tool that’ll presumably let users trade small amounts for its KuCoin Token (KCS). The upgrade is set to go live by the first quarter of next year.

The funds are also set to be used to hire more customer support staff to improve traders’ experience on the platform, and to help expand its research team. Per 8BTC, KuCoin is also eyeing a global expansion plan that will see it launch a targeted marketing and advertising campaign.

The plan will see it enter countries like Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, Italy, and more. Per the news outlet, the cryptocurrency exchange is set to be in a total of 10 markets by Q2 of next year. Its CEO, Michael Gan, was quoted as saying:

The combined forces of IDG Capital, Matrix Partners, and Neo Global Capital will help Kucoin grow substantially, expand understanding and adoption of cryptocurrency for millions of potential users, and help these users more efficiently find the best products available in the crypto-world no matter where on the planet they may exist.

KuCoin was launched back in September of 2017, and has since then seen over five million users register on its platform. Available data shows it isn’t a top cryptocurrency exchange, as it has been trading roughly $600 million per month.

Earlier this year the company was embroiled in controversy as a journalist claimed its Hong Kong office was empty. Responding to the situation, KuCoin clarified its Hong Kong address is “merely” for mailing purposes.

Cannabis Shops Turn to Crypto Apps Amidst Coronavirus Cash Shortages

Michael LaVere
  • Cannabis shops in Boulder, Colorado are using bitcoin payment app Strike to conduct "contactless" exchanges.
  • Cash shortages and lack of sanitation are causing businesses to find alternative means for transaction. 

Cannabis shops are using bitcoin payment services to conduct business in place of fiat amidst the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to a report by CoinDesk, cannabis dispensaries in Boulder, Colorado have been onboarded to the closed beta for Strike, a bitcoin payment service application founded by lighting network supporter Zap. 

Zap, founded by Jack Mallers, has been operating a closed beta for the payment application Strike which allows users the option of sending bitcoin or dollars and receiving funds in their bank account. The application uses a simple QR code interface, similar to Venmo, that allows users to send funds without having prior knowledge or expertise with bitcoin. 

Mallers said, 

Every Strike user is given a public domain at strike.me. We’re using Lightning for really fast online settlement of value transfers. … It’s also beneficial for privacy on the sender’s side.

Johnny Kurish, general manager at Boulder’s Helping Hands Herbals cannabis shop, said the application allowed his dispensary to process $1,000 worth of purchases since being added to the beta last week. 

Kurish said the dispensary will switch to only accepting Strike payments, which allow for contactless exchanges in light of the coronavirus pandemic. 

He said, 

We’re really lucky to have curbside drop-offs. We check the ID through the roll-up window, deliver the cannabis to a podium in front of the car. We’re happy to reopen with an option that’s safe for our staff.

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