Sydney-spawned bitcoin startup receives investment while the Silk Road defence argues it’s not even money

BTC.sx, a bitcoin trading platform launched in Sydney with offices in London, New York and Singapore, has announced they’ve received funding from the cryptocurrency incubator SeedCoin.

 

Cofounder and chief operations officer George Samman describes the investment by the fund as testament to their proven traction, adding the platform has processed over $44 million in trades since launching in April 2013.

 

BTC.sx is the sixth company backed by SeedCoin. Previous investments include Cryptopay, CoinSimple, MexBT, Hive and zSIM.

 

The news comes after a tumultuous period for the bitcoin industry that included the closure of major exchange Mt Gox, which forced BTC.sx to stop trading briefly.

 

At the time Samman said they would be shut for about a week while they integrated with new exchanges.

 

“It’ll hit our bottom line. But we’re in a strong cash position and integrating with other exchanges was always the plan. We’ve just had to speed-up the timeline dramatically,” says Samman. “I think this is going to make it even stronger as this hasn’t taken us out. As an entrepreneur in a field like this, you’ve got to think the best and be prepared for the worst.”

 

He added the closure of the exchange was good news for the industry, which also welcomed the arrest of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, who this week launched his defence against a raft of charges including money laundering, conspiracy to traffic in narcotics, and continuing a criminal enterprise.

 

According to a report in Forbes, Ulbricht’s lawyer Joshua Dratel argues all charges against his client should be dropped for a range of reasons, including the argument bitcoin isn’t money.

 

“Bitcoins, the exclusive means of payment on Silk Road, do not qualify as ‘monetary instruments’, and therefore cannot serve as the basis for a money laundering violation.”

 

But Dratel and Ulbricht may be in for a tough fight with that one, after a US federal judge ruling in late 2013 the cryptocurrency should be treated as a currency during the prosecution of a bitcoin Ponzi scheme.

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