Supply chain
Blolckchain security startup CoolBitX secures US$16.75 million in Series B
Sammi Huang, Taipei; Rodney Chan, DIGITIMES

CoolBitX, a blockchain security company that is building the infrastructure necessary to close the gap between the mainstream market and crypto industry, has announced it has closed US$16.75 million in its Series B funding round, led by Japan's financial group SBI Holdings, with participation from Taiwan's National Development Fund, Korean crypto exchange BitSonic, and another Japanese financial group Monex.

With this funding, CoolBitX said that having rooted its market dominance in Asia, it is expanding the Sygna product line's presence beyond the APAC region as the first-to-market FATF-compliant solution for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) around the world. Regarding Bluetooth-enabled hardware wallet CoolWallet S, CoolBitX continues to innovate its flagship product with focus on top-of-the-line security, functionality, and usability.

Michael Ou, CEO of CoolBitX, said: "We are thrilled and encouraged by the support that we have received from our wider community of investors and partners on our journey. The blockchain and cryptocurrency industry is at a critical juncture. In the global blockchain race, the rate of adoption and innovation in Asia is undeniable, witnessed by regulatory developments and investments in the past year. Jurisdictions that have passed bills defining a clear set of rules for the industry - especially those surrounding KYC and AML - have seen major players in traditional finance enter the space, providing a clear blueprint for regulators around the world. Through Sygna and CoolWallet S, we're proud to develop the tools and infrastructure necessary to bridge the gap between the mainstream market and crypto industry. This latest funding round is a testament to our vision to help the industry mature and foster the mass adoption of virtual assets."

In June 2019, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released its latest standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing, requiring VASPs of FATF member countries to comply with Recommendation 16, aka the "Travel Rule." With this rule, crypto exchanges must collect and transfer customers' personally identifiable information (PII) during transactions. CoolBitX launched Sygna Bridge in October 2019, providing VASPs with a market-ready solution so that they may be fully FATF compliant.

More than 10 exchanges have signed MOUs with CoolBitX, joining a consortium of VASPs to begin or consider implementing Sygna Bridge.

Yoshitaka Kitao, president and CEO of SBI Holdings, said, "As one of the early investors in CoolBitX, SBI Holdings is happy to see the breakthroughs made by the CooBitX team to drive cryptocurrency adoption forward. As such, we are delighted to participate in our second tranche of investment in CoolBitX. The borderless nature of digital assets requires a solution that isn't bound by geographical boundaries and we are proud to partner with CoolBitX on their journey to bring a secure and easy-to-implement system to the world."

Founded and based in Taiwan in 2014, CoolBitX has been at the helm of Taiwan's crypto and fintech revolution. As a FinTech entrepreneur, Ou is immersed in the development of Taiwan's fintech industry. Ou is also chairman of SmartDisplayer Technology, a 20-year old family business and publicly traded company that pioneered banking security solutions.

Chen Mei-ling, minister of the National Development Council, "CoolBitX and Michael Ou have been a steady presence in the growing Taiwanese blockchain space. The National Development Fund of Taiwan aims to accelerate innovation and promote economic transformation to support the growth of the Taiwanese economy. CoolBitX is a highlight of the Taiwanese startup community. We are proud to support a home-grown Taiwanese firm like CoolBitX as it continues to accelerate its growth onto the global stage."

Michael Ou, CEO of CoolBitX

Michael Ou, CEO of CoolBitX
Photo: Michael Lee, Digitimes, February 2020

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