Bitcoin wallet, exchange and merchant services provider Coinbase has partnered with payment solutions provider Vogogo, enabling its expansion to Canada.
Calgary-based Vogogo aims to take on the load of risk management, compliance and security for payments processed, bridging the gap between the fiat banking and digital currency worlds and allowing exchanges to focus more on their business strategies.
It has become a go-to destination for Canadian bitcoin exchanges, which have traditionally had a tough time maintaining banking relationships. More recently, it helped crypto exchanges Kraken and Bitstamp make inroads into the country.
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Coinbase’s services had until now only been available in the US (in selected states) and several European countries. The partnership with Vogogo will allow residents to hook up a Canadian bank account, deposit CAD into a Coinbase wallet (via electronic funds transfer or Interac Online), and buy bitcoin either through Coinbase’s brokerage service or through Coinbase Exchange.
To celebrate the launch, Coinbase is waiving the fees for its brokerage service to Canadian customers until September 6. The company is also sponsoring the ‘Hack the North’ hackathon at the University of Waterloo, where it will award the group that makes best use of its API with $1,000 in bitcoin and guaranteed interviews for an engineering internship.
Vogogo, which secured $12.5 million in funding in June, is publicly traded on the TSX Venture Exchange. After soaring by over 300% to over $4.00 within a few months late last year, it has since given up almost all of its gains, currently trading at $1.00. News of the partnership has not helped the shares, which are trading lower by 1%. Its market cap is currently CAD$48 million.