BTCC, the world’s oldest Bitcoin exchange, has been acquired by a Hong Kong blockchain investment fund, in what CEO Bobby Lee is calling “an incredible milestone”.
BTCC, formerly known as BTC China, is a Bitcoin exchange which was founded in by Lee in Shanghai in 2011. It traded $25 billion worth of bitcoins in 2017. It also operates a major mining pool which mined almost $900 million in Bitcoin in 2017.
It shut down operations in its homeland in September following a notice given to it by the local financial regulator, and set up new headquarters in Hong Kong. The price of Bitcoin tanked following the announcement on Twitter – such is the importance of the exchange, which even now is ranked within the top 20 exchanges worldwide.
According to a company spokesperson, BTCC aims to become a more global company, and the money gained from the acquisition will allow it to make this expansion. Said Lee: “I’m very excited about the resources this gives BTCC to move faster and aggressively grow our businesses in 2018 and beyond.”
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Apart from the exchange and the mining pool, BTC offers a Bitcoin wallet for Apple and Android phones, called Mobi. It supports more than 15 languages, over one hundred different cryptocurrencies, and allows money transfers through the user’s phone number and Twitter account. It also offers a Visa card that allows users to pay in Bitcoin at businesses that don’t accept Bitcoin. Lee said at the time of the release in March 2017: “Mobi will take bitcoin mainstream, with mobile-number accounts, Twitter payments, 100+ currencies, and a Visa debit card.”
Regarding the acquisition, Aaron Choi, manager of BTCC’s Bitcoin/dollar exchange, said: “The acquisition gives us resources to more effectively apply our unparalleled industry knowledge to provide customers with the most accessible digital currency services.”
Denver Zhao, head of BTCC’s mining business, said: “We now have the resources to realize our vision of a world in which the convenient and trustworthy digital currency services we create get everyone using digital currencies.”
Mark Ma, head of Mobi, said: “The capital injection we received today gives us a boost towards reaching our goal to grab a dominant market share in the payments and digital currency industries of each of those countries.”
Lee himself said that the deal “validates all of our hard work over the past few years.” We reported a few days ago on comments made by Lee – he said that he only trusts the ‘big four‘ cryptocurrencies of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin.