Singapore Bitcoin Exchange Startup Raises $16M

A startup in Singapore offering bitcoin exchange and cryptocurrency services just secured another major round of funding.

The company, Quoine, announced that is has raised $16 million for its Series B round. This follows its $2 million Series A round in December 2014. This new round’s investors included Jafco, a Japanese investment company, along with a unnamed VC firm. But the company noted that the round is not closed so there could be up to $4 million more raised in this round.

According to reports, Quoine is the largest bitcoin exchange that operates in a major bitcoin market, Japan, as it has $50 million bitcoins transacted over its exchange per day. Its co-founder Kariya Kayamori said in an interview that there is $50 trillion of foreign-exchange trading in Japan a year and eventually he believes cryptocurrencies will account for 10 percent of those transactions.

The latest conversation among Japan’s Liberal Democratic party surrounds plans for bitcoin and other digital currencies to be treated equally to any other currency. What that would do, of course, is put bitcoin in a regulatory framework that enables lawmakers to tax, regulate and monitor bitcoin transactions in a way that may give more legitimacy to the concept of the cryptocurrency.

Positioning a legal framework around bitcoin could also help establish an infrastructure to bring bitcoin into Japan’s mainstream financial ecosystem. For now, there are no specific laws around bitcoin, which means bitcoin is already legal. But being legal without any government involvement has left bitcoin in limbo in many regions across the globe where governments are not really sure what to do with it.

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