New Zealand Government Helps Fund Cryptocurrency Exchange

  • The cryptocurrency exchange Vimba has been awarded a $330,000 grant from New Zealand’s innovation institute.
  • These funds will be used to add new cryptocurrency listings and add multi-signature wallets to Vimba’s exchange.

Announced yesterday (Oct 31), New Zealand’s innovation institute has officially awarded a $330,000 grant to NZ-based crypto wallet, Vimba. Formerly known as MyCryptoSaver (and MyBitcoinSaver), Vimba aims to allow users to purchase cryptocurrencies easily by setting up automatic purchases.

The $330,000 grant has been awarded by Callaghan Innovation, the New Zealand government’s innovation group.

This grant is not easy to get - only 355 grants were approved in the last fiscal year. The grant, called a “R&D Project Grant” by Callaghan, will be used by Vimba to list more cryptocurrencies and add multi-signature functionality to their wallets. At the moment Vimba only supports bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), but more offerings should be on their way soon.

Vimba takes a unique approach to cryptocurrency and instead of focusing on trading, aims to be more of an investment vehicle. They do this by emphasizing dollar cost averaging: an investing strategy executed by making scheduled purchases into an asset, which effectively lowers the investor’s average dollar cost.

Vimba has been well received by the community, and CEO Sam Blackmore says:

Even over the past year, in a bearish crypto market, our user base has remained very stable.

This unique approach combined with the government’s backing could mean big things for Vimba.

“This is a truly significant investment from Callaghan Innovation and a real show of faith in the future of this very exciting asset class,” said Sam Blackmore, CEO of Vimba. He continues:

we believe Bitcoin will at least reach the market cap of gold as it is a more efficient, more accessible, more secure version of that rare asset. For it to reach the market cap of gold, one Bitcoin would be worth around $600,000 — more than 60 times what it’s worth today.

New Zealand and Crypto

Vimba is not the only cryptocurrency exchange from New Zealand. Cryptopia, small-cap altcoin focused exchange, is also based in New Zealand, and processes about $3M worth of volume every day.

This is not the first time the New Zealand government has shown its interest in cryptocurrencies. Earlier this year, they proclaimed that cryptocurrencies are taxable property “like gold,” clearing the air on how they should be reported. 

$3.1 million: Crypto Exchange Cashaa Hacked for 336 BTC

London-based cryptocurrency exchange Cashaa revealed it lost 336 bitcoin, at press time worth $3.1 million, to hackers who managed to access one of its cryptocurrency wallets.

According to a tweet the exchange published on July 11, the attackers managed to access one of its wallets, and quickly transferred the funds to an address they control. From the address they went to the BTC has been through a series of hops, suggesting the use of coin mixing software to limit traceability and throw off blockchain sleuths.

Cashaa believes that the attacker may have managed to infect one of its computers with malware, and then waited for an employee to access its machine. As soon as that happened, the funds were moved out of its wallet. Reacting to the security breach, the exchange halted withdrawals and deposits and “called the board meeting to decide whether the company will bear all the losses.”

The exchange suspects the hacker is from east Delhi, India, and filed a report with the Delhi police cybercrimes department.

Cashaa also reached out to other cryptocurrency exchanges and businesses informing them of the address, in a bid to stop the hacker from cashing out. In statements provided to industry media Kumar Gaurav, Cashaa’s CEO, seemingly lashed out at trading platforms that allow hackers to cash out.

Gaurav was quoted as saying:

As of today, hackers are very confident to hack crypto addresses and move it through exchanges that are facilitating such laundering through their systems. Exchanges like these must be shut down and owners of these exchanges should be charged with money laundering facilitation crime.

CryptoCompare’s Exchange Benchmark report, as recently reported, revealed that 38% of crypto exchanges interact with high-risk entities in 25% or more of their transactions. High-risk entities are those associated with darknet markets and vendors, criminals, gambling projects, malware operators, and others.

Featured image by Kevin Ku on Unsplash