CoolBitX Raises $16.7M to Make Crypto More Bank-Friendly

Asian companies are accelerating the crypto industry’s push to make exchanges work more like traditional banks.

The crypto wallet and security startup CoolBitX raised $16.7 million in a round led by Japanese financial group SBI Holdings, with participation from the National Development Fund of Taiwan, Korean crypto exchange BitSonic and Japanese financial firm Monex. In 2020, the startup’s focus is on new products and features that comply with new rules from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that require businesses to collect and pass information about customers when transferring funds between firms.

Several Asian countries, including Singapore, South Korea and Japan, swiftly responded to the token boom of 2017 with regulatory proposals and enforcement. As such, crypto companies in these regions must follow strict anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) procedures. CoolBitX CEO Michael Ou argued in a 2019 column that many countries in the region now have a more mature crypto industry than North America’s.

“We believed it was necessary to be ahead of the regulatory curve and have a solution in place in anticipation of stricter AML regulations from the South Korean government,” said BitSonic CEO Jinwook Shin. “In the coming months, the South Korean government is expected to pass regulations that will change the country’s cryptocurrency landscape and this investment [in CoolBitX] allows us to be on top of these regulations.”

Underscoring that same point about professional exchange guidelines, Monex Group CEO Oki Matsumoto said in a press statement that as a cryptocurrency exchange owner, he sees “huge potential in CoolBitX” to promote the “proper adoption of virtual assets” in a fair yet robust industry.

“We continue to closely monitor regulatory developments around the world in order to roll out each product or service to as broad a market as possible,” said CoolBitX international manager Elsa Madrolle, an alum of…

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