Bitcoin derivatives trading site BTC.sx has received a 500-bitcoin investment through seed-funding outfit Seedcoin.
The trading site, which recently had to temporarily close after the demise of partner Mt. Gox, is the sixth company to be funded in Seedcoin‘s first round – called SF1 – which was announced in December.
Joe Lee, founder of BTC.sx, told CoinDesk:
“Being funded by [SF1] puts us in a great position while we work to build the security, speed and transparency of our trading system. Being funded means we can proactively work with financial regulators to show them that bitcoin and its growing financial services industry is here to stay.”
BTC.sx’s funding represents a quarter of the entire SF1 fund, which hopes to fund seven companies in all.
In the investment round, bitcoin payment processor Cryptopay received 100 bitcoins, and Hive, which makes a bitcoin wallet for OS X, received 150. CoinSimple, which allows merchants to receive payments via several different bitcoin payment processors, was given 200 bitcoins, as was zSim, a company still in stealth mode that is preparing some kind of SIM-based wallet.
Mexican bitcoin exchange MexBT was the recipient of the second-largest bitcoin funding package under SF1, receiving 250 bitcoins.
Seedcoin is also negotiating with the last of the seven companies that it chose for the SF1 round: GoCoin – a company that provides payment processing services not just for bitcoin, but for litecoin and dogecoin too.
The deal with GoCoin is not yet closed, emphasizes Eddy Travia, co-founder of Seedcoin. Once that funding is complete, it won’t entirely use up all of the bitcoins in SF1. Some will be held back to meet further funding demands for the included companies.
SF1 is funded through purchases of ‘units’ via Havelock Investments – originally a Canadian-owned company, which is now located in Panama.
Eighty-nine per cent of the funds collected via Havelock will go into SF1 startups. Seedcoin collects an 11% management fee, and also pays a 5% listing fee, Travia said.
This latest funding shows the volatile nature of bitcoins. Had BTC.sx secured the 500 bitcoins in December, when the fund was launched, it would have collected the equivalent of $437,500, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index. At today’s price, they’re worth $241,000.
However, that assumes that BTC.sx is going to cash out the bitcoins entirely, which seems unlikely, given that it is a bitcoin-based derivatives house.
“The terms had been agreed only in BTC, not in USD so there is no change regarding our conditions and regarding BTC.sx. Since it is a bitcoin only business they will most probably keep this in bitcoin as long as they can.”
Lee said that BTC.sx works to remain well-hedged against foreign exchange movements in the market. The risk will be hedged within its internal accounts and managed separately from client funds, he added.
BTC.sx, which reopened for trading on March 12, has processed around $44m in bitcoin-based trades, it said this week. The firm, started less than a year ago by Joe Lee, now has offices in Singapore, London, and New York.
Lee was a one-person operation when he started. Even though the company has grown quickly, there is still a lot to do, he said, arguing that it was difficult even to serve futures and options markets because the lack of an established infrastructure for trading.
“Bitcoin is still in its infancy, and if you look at the products out there, we haven’t even got the exchange infrastructure that we need.”
“The announcement that New York is accepting applications is very exciting for us. That will bring legitimacy, and a lot more trading volume. That will bring us great exchange products. It’s a win-win situation.”