In a significant announcement today, the largest ever deal of its kind in the Bitcoin industry saw leading European bitcoin exchange Kraken acquire bitcoin exchanges Coinsetter and CaVirtEx.
In a statement today, Kraken announced it is acquiring New York-based exchange Coinsetter and Canada’s first bitcoin exchange CaVirtEx. The world’s largest bitcoin exchange will fully absorb both exchanges to expand its scope with “an immediate and significant expansion into the North American market,” the statement read.
The undisclosed deal will see Kraken enter the United States with its exchange and services on offer to 37 states and Washington DC. The announcement also revealed a partnership with payment network SynapsePay to facilitate low-cost USD deposits and withdrawals to users and clients.
The announcement added:
For the first time, the vast majority of Americans will have access to Kraken’s full suite of advanced exchange services including seamless bitcoin-dollar (XBT/USD) trading.
Kraken’s foray into Canada will cover all ten provinces and territories of the country. A partnership with Vogogo, a Canadian payments platform will also enable clients in the country to deposit and withdraw funds to and from the exchange.
Outgoing Coinsetter CEO Jaron Lukasiewicz said:
I’m excited what our acquisition by Kraken means for Coinsetter and CaVirtEx customers, who will all benefit from Kraken’s leading platform.
Client accounts of both Coinsetter and CaVirtEx will be automatically transferred over to Kraken’s platform on January 26, 2016. Account holders will be able to begin trading on the platform immediately.
Founded in 2012, Coinsetter largely targeted institutional clients and notably acquired CaVirtEx in April 2015. The overall deal is likely to have been a staunch effort on Kraken, an exchange which had previously planned to enter the country in 2013 during the launch of its platform in its beta phase. However, the exchange resisted due to US regulatory requirements.
In the intervening years, Kraken has steadily become the leading exchange in the European market and the world’s largest in euro trading volume and liquidity.
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell stated:
The consolidation of these three veteran giants is the largest exchange deal to date. Combined, we represent over thirteen years of bitcoin exchange experience in an industry that is only seven years old.
Speaking with Reuters, Powell revealed that Coinsetter is “pretty clean” for an acquisition.
There’s a lot of companies that you can do a deal with. But Coinsetter has certainly a cautious approach to the United States and it doesn’t have contingent liabilities hanging around its head and that’s pretty appealing to us.
He further revealed that Kraken was focused on the European market prior to its entry today into the US market. The average bitcoin/euro trading overseen by Kraken is from 5,000 up to 7,000 bitcoins a day.
Kraken’s bitcoin/dollar volume is merely a tenth in comparison to its European numbers, Powell revealed.
The CEO also revealed that two Coinsetter employees will now join Kraken following the acquisition while Lukasiewicz will stay as a temporary advisor before moving out.
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