Category Archives: Golden Gate Ventures

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Singaporean Financial Regulator to Help Crypto Exchanges with Wary Banks

The Singaporean financial regulator has stated that it is willing to support cryptocurrency firms that are having problems with setting up bank accounts in the city.

Some crypto firms have complained against Singapore’s banking system which they argue has resulted in account closures or companies simply not being able to open business accounts. This has resulted in the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) stepping in an attempt to alleviate the problem.

MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon that has said that from the point of view of the banks, he can understand their concerns, arguing they should not allow “an extremely lax regulatory environment in order to attract that kind of business”, referring to the cryptocurrency industry. He added:

“What we are trying to do is to bring the banks and cryptocurrency fintech startups together to see if there is some understanding they can reach… I hope we can bring minds together on this so that we can get over this hurdle.”

Singapore has expressed in the past that it has no desire to follow the Japanese pro-crypto stance on cryptocurrency but on the other hand, is keen to push fintech forward in order create tech jobs and boost the economy. This, however, doesn’t include embracing crypto exchanges in the same way that Japan has. This view is clearly reflected in the stance that many of Singapore’s banks have taken. Menon defends this concern arguing:

“The nature of this business is a bit different, so banks may need to employ other ways in which they can establish bona fide… some of these activities are indeed quite opaque. I would not blame the banks for not opening the bank accounts.”

The problem is not unique to Singapore, as banks in other countries have been reticent to offer services to crypto firms due to concerns about money laundering and financial crime, despite numerous claims that figures are exaggerated. Even European counties such as the Irish Republic have had similar problems where banks have closed crypto exchange accounts.

However, blockchain development is fast becoming a major part of Singapore’s fintech environment. With the recent news that Singapore-based Venture Capital firm Golden Gate Ventures is to launch a $10 million fund targeting crypto and blockchain startups, the country continues to push forward with its DLT investment, with one eye on crypto.

 

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Singapore VC Firm to Launch $10 Million Crypto Fund, Follows Blockchain Investment Trend

Singapore-based Venture Capital firm Golden Gate Ventures is to launch a $10 million fund targetting crypto and blockchain start-ups that use innovative DLT, in what appears to be a growing investment trend.

Golden Gate Ventures will call the fund LuneX Ventures and will be funded primarily by high net worth individuals. The main focus of LuneX investment will be aimed at early-stage companies such as cryptocurrency exchanges and cybersecurity providers

The LuneX fund becomes the first such fund, set up by a traditional markets company in the region. Head of Growth at Golden Gate, Kenrick Drijkoningen, who is heading the project sees the recent downturn in the cryptocurrency markets as no hurdle to success. He points out:

“Despite the fact that public markets are down, the amount of talent that’s moving into this space is exciting. There are young entrepreneurs who are passionate about this space and want to build an ecosystem.”

One of these is Tushar Aggarwal, host of the Decrypt Asia podcast, who is to collaborate on the new project. Drijkoningen himself points out that the project is planned for the long-term and that the invested capital would be spread through a range of areas including ICO’s and previously-existing cryptos, along with investments into other crypto and blockchain products. Currently, about half a dozen deals are reportedly in the pipeline

The talk of a blockchain revolution, a term cited frequently over the past months, would certainly include such projects as these involve crypto custody and banking. Such blockchain investment funds are growing in popularity as traditional investors seek to make inroads into blockchain and crypto by another route to get ahead of the rush if it happens.

The recent Chinese venture in Nanjing sparked the new term “blockchain revolution” as the country appears to have ramped up its support for blockchain technologies with a CNY 10 billion (USD 1.48 billion) investment fund, focusing primarily on the public blockchain projects. The new fund was announced and reported to be formed by the district government of Jiangbei — new area in Nanjing city and the Beijing-based Zhongguancun Blockchain Industry Alliance, a cooperative alliance between blockchain companies and government research institutes.

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