The demise of Mt.Gox has been met with the launch of Bitcoin’s Ft. Knox and the establishment of new proprietary exchanges from institutional investment trading platforms as investors attempt to right the ship of the stateless currency.
Having large institutional investors like Fortress Investments and Benchmark certainly helps the beleaguered currency (or is it a commodity?) platform.
“They believe in the protocol more than any [Wall Street] firm,” said Meyer “Micky” Malka of the Fortress investment in Xapo.
This despite the fact that Pensions & Investments reported Fortress lost $3.7 million on $20 million in Bitcoin investments in 2013, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The investment was made using the publicly traded alternative investment firm’s balance sheet money, the publication reported.
Other venture investors — like Andreessen Horowitz — have also invested significant capital behind new bitcoin and Bitcoin startups.
Meanwhile, the joint venture between Perseus and Atlas aims to create highly secure private exchanges in locations like Frankfurt, Hong Kong, New York, and Singapore, according to Shawn Sloves, the co-founder of Atlas.
“We’re giving [institutions] the ability to build private markets that manage their wallets for bitcoin and they can have their own exchange where they have buyers and sellers come in,” said Sloves.
Atlas and Perseus are going to create these private exchanges for all types of digital currency, including whitecoin and dogecoin, Sloves said. “We’re here to support global Bitcoin trading and get it up as rapidly as possible,” he said.
Some venture investors are skeptical of the viability of any exchange as a potential investment. “The question of who will win in the race to establish the dominant exchange is wide open at this point,” one investor wrote. “There generally aren’t many, or even several, exchanges in a typical market … it’s got a ‘winner take all’ dynamic to it.”
While the investor didn’t have a view on the Perseus and Atlas tie-up specifically, he did say that several competitors are looking to enter the market. “If I were them I would be looking over my shoulder at the various incipient brand-name coalitions that seem to be coming together to create a regulator-blessed U.S. exchange,” the investor said.