Bitcoin ATM Network Acqui-Hires Exchange Startup


Bitcoin exchange startup BitQuick is being acqui-hired by a US-based digital currency ATM network, a move that comes months after it temporarily shut down following a cyberattack.

Athena Bitcoin, which operates in the midwestern and eastern US, is buying the exchange outright as well as bringing in team members Jad Mubaslat and Chad Davis. The sale amount was not disclosed.

The integration quietly went live late last week, with the formal integration taking place today. In interview, Mubaslat said that in the immediate term, the team will continue to operate as it has previously, only with financial backing from Athena that will be used to expand the team’s size and capacity.

Mubaslat told CoinDesk:

“Chad is going to continue working as customers service and I’ll continue to work in a leadership role, making sure the platform works as it was before.”

Gil Valentine, co-founder and COO of Athena Bitcoin, said that the all-digital exchange interface is a good complement to his company’s physical ATM network.

“We like the branding, we like the story, we like the way that Jad and Chad handled everything, and we think the brand is safe and sound,” he said.

Mubaslat said that the sale is unrelated to the March server breach, stating that the decision was driven by personal factors outside of the bitcoin space.

The service, a graduate of Silicon Valley-based startup incubator Boost VC, was taken offline in mid-March after someone gained access to its server. BitQuick later said that some customer details, including names and email addresses, were “likely” leaked following the incident.

Mubaslat said that while he understands possible security concerns following the hack, he defended BitQuick’s response and its subsequent transparency about what happened and said that any outstanding customer balances have since been refunded.

“What we were doing is, right when it happened, we shut down the platform, we were transparent with everyone,” he said. “We let everyone know what happened.”

Handshake image via Shutterstock

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