Singapore-based Bitcoin (BTC) brokerage Coin Republic has been acquired by Mexican firm meXBT, in order to increase its market share and as a foundation for establishing payment solutions using blockchain technology between Asia and Mexico. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.
Commenting on the acquisition, David Moskowitz, the founder and the principal of Coin Republic said: “When we saw the business plan and objectives of expansion in Asia that meXBT had, we immediately found similarities and saw the benefit all our customers.”
With a precise regulatory regime and an excellent banking system, which serves the main holders of financial assets from Asia, Singapore has become a centre for financial technology (fintech) innovation in Asia and is engaged in a drive to establish digital innovation as a core part of its economy.
According to a TechCrunch report, the Singapore government is a strong driver of the success of financial innovation in the city-state, with an announcement earlier in July 2015 that $166 million had been allocated to growing the fintech ecosystem over the next five years.
Startupbootcamp FinTech, one of Europe’s largest fintech accelerator programs, also established a Singapore edition earlier this year and has partnered with government agencies and local banks to accelerate promising fintech startups.
meXBT’s Asian footprint
Recent developments have seen the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announce the creation of a specialised fintech innovation group, to oversee regulations and development strategies to boost the Singaporean financial sector.
The acquisition of Coin Republic and the addition of its Asia-oriented digital currency brokerage platform is part of the growth and evolution of meXBT, which was established in Q1 2014 and intends to expand overseas, expand services targeting trading small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the growth markets of Latin America and Asia.
“I am very excited, Coin Republic is a highly respected brand in the Asian market and acquiring their business and brand gives us access to participate in one of the most developed markets in terms of financial innovation; establishing meXBT as the main choice to make payments across border between Asia and Mexico,” said Gabriel Miron, founder and CEO of meXBT.
The acquisition of Coin Republic will see meXBT offer access to a world class trading platform developed by meXBT and its US-based tech provider, AlphaPoint, to all current Coin Republic clients.
meXBT`s growth strategy is to pursue a strategy of expanding through alliances and acquisitions that create “digital transaction hubs” in the major financial centres worldwide by using blockchain technology as the basis of this system.
According to a World Economic Forum report, in 2013 Singapore was the third largest export-orientated economy, exporting more than 190 per cent worth of its GDP in goods and services.
With reference to this, Joel Cano, meXBT’s COO, said, “Through our platform, transactions between companies of Singapore and Mexico can be done in minutes, using the latest technology combined with a solid legal and fiscal background, providing more commissions than the regular financial market.”
As the market evolves and matures in Latin American economies, meXBT intends to position itself as a market leader, with the aim of acting as a platform to facilitate cross-border transactions for businesses and individuals. The acquisition of Coin Republic allows it to act as a bridge facilitating the flow of capital between two regions with a high density of emerging markets.
According to official statements, Hong Kong-registered firm Bit Power will take full share ownership of Coin Republic’s corporate entity, Rapid Net Profit, with Moskowitz continuing on as director and growing the Singapore market.
Asked about this development, Moskowitz responded: “I’m thrilled to be working along with Gabriel at meXBT. In addition to adding liquidity to the local market we’ll be able to offer some excellent services in the future, bitcoin and blockchain are revolutionizing areas such as remittance, payments, and trade finance. It’s awesome to be a part of fintech bringing new efficiencies to the markets.”
The acquisitions is positive development for the local ecosystem. Back in October 2014, in a statement to Coin Telegraph, Adam Draper, the founder of Boost Incubator, stated: “Worldwide adoption is necessary for Bitcoin to succeed. And I believe Singapore is the place for Bitcoin in Asia.”
Singapore has often been compared with Hong Kong, as a hub for Bitcoin, digital currencies and financial technology in the Asia Pacific. In communications with Coin Telegraph, CoinHako co-founder Yusho Liu has previously noted: “Singapore has been on the radar of many Bitcoin companies here in the valley due to the positive outlook from the regulators.”
The recent success of BitX in raising capital during its Series A round has been a positive indicator for the local Bitcoin space. This is the growth of fintech firms using the Asian city-state as a gateway and launchpad into the emerging markets of the Asia Pacific region. Very often, their targets are the unbanked and under-banked segments of these economies.
In a October 2013 interview with Tech in Asia, Sammel Nigel, the Singaporean founder and principal of Find Your Bitcoin Sweden (FYB-SE) commented that a small population of Bitcoin users, conservative consumers and lack of monetary literacy would hamper Singapore’s emergence as a hub.
However, Nigel added, “…the good thing is that there’s a lot of wealth in Singapore, with plenty of investors and businesses that stand to benefit greatly from adopting Bitcoin. Singapore has great potential, due to it being an existing financial services hub and with so many investors present here.”
Singapore seems well positioned to excel and built itself in this particular niche, given recent developments and the entry of this new player using Singapore as a launchpad for Asia Pacific expansion.