| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Jan 19 Global bitcoin exchange Kraken
said on Tuesday it is acquiring digital currency exchanges
Coinsetter and Cavirtex, strengthening its expansion in North
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
San Francisco-based Kraken, the world's largest bitcoin
exchange as measured in euro volume and liquidity, will fully
absorb the Coinsetter and Cavirtex brands, it said in a
New York-based Coinsetter was founded in 2012 and targeted
institutional clients. In April last year, it acquired Cavirtex,
Canada's first bitcoin exchange.
"Coinsetter has a lot of synergies with us and it's pretty
clean," Kraken Chief Executive Officer Jesse Powell said in an
interview with Reuters.
"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."
Client accounts of both Coinsetter and Cavirtex will be
automatically transferred to Kraken's platform on Jan. 26, the
company statement said.
For strategic reasons, including a cautious approach to
compliance, Kraken had previously focused on developing market
share outside the United States, especially Europe. Kraken's
average bitcoin/euro trading volume is 5,000 to 7,000 bitcoins
Its bitcoin/dollar volume, however, is only one-tenth of its
European turnover, Powell said, and with the acquisition, Kraken
hopes to double that.
Powell said Kraken is taking two of Coinsetter's employees,
while the latter's chief executive officer and founder, Jaron
Lukasiewicz, will stay temporarily as an adviser before moving
to other projects.
"I've always thought that there are just too many businesses
for the current price of bitcoin," Powell said. "There are just
too many exchanges out there. If we put our businesses together,
we may have a better shot."
Bitcoin on Tuesday last traded at $385, down 0.1 percent.
(Editing by Matthew Lewis)