Binance invests in Indonesian cryptocurrency exchange Tokocrypto, Garage

INDONESIAN cryptocurrency exchange Tokocrypto has received an undisclosed investment from Binance, the global cryptocurrency exchange backed by Singapore venture firm Vertex Ventures.

Tokocrypto will use the fresh capital to hire new talent in areas including senior-level management, marketing and customer support, adding to its current headcount of 42 employees, the startup’s chief executive Pang Xue Kai told The Business Times.

The funds will also be used to launch new products, enhance technology, and to launch blockchain education initiatives in the region. “We are also using these funds to set up remote offices in different parts of Indonesia… As of now, our plans are to remain in Indonesia and to tap this market,” he said.

The crypto buzz may have largely fizzled out from its heyday in 2018, but Mr Pang thinks that Tokocrypto still has a role to play in facilitating continued trading in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the Indonesian market.

The two-year-old startup earns revenue from charging fees for the transactions. Tokocrypto’s average daily transaction volume currently stands at about US$700,000, Mr Pang said. The startup had been on the lookout for strategic investors and found the right fit with Binance. It previously raised seed funding from Singapore digital asset trading firm QCP Capital.

“This partnership is something that will be very beneficial for Tokocrypto. Binance has the technical expertise and we will be leveraging on that, so that we can protect our customers’ assets with a very high level of confidence,” he added.

One of the major challenges that crypto exchanges have faced is in cybersecurity. Binance, which is one of the largest exchanges by trading volume, had US$40 million worth of Bitcoin stolen by hackers in 2019.

Acknowledging the importance of preventing hacks, Mr Pang said that Tokocrypto is focused on investing in both internal and external processes, such as using “cold wallets”, or wallets that are completely offline, for safe storage of cryptocurrencies.

In a press release, Binance chief executive Zhao Changpeng said: “Our investment in Tokocrypto will allow us to explore exciting new opportunities together for the Indonesian market with a regulated local partner to further enable the freedom of money.”

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