Naspers throws weight behind BitX

Christopher David uses a Robocoin kiosk to sell bitcoins outside of the 500 Startups' Bitcoinferance in Mountain View. (Jeff Chiu, AP, file)
Christopher David uses a Robocoin kiosk to sell bitcoins outside of the 500 Startups' Bitcoinferance in Mountain View. (Jeff Chiu, AP, file)

Cape Town - Naspers [JSE:NPN] has initiated a $4m funding support of cryptocurrency platform BitX, based in Singapore.

Through its PayU subsidiary, Fin24 parent Naspers will invest in BitX and gain a foothold into a growing market for e-commerce.

"In Naspers we have a truly global partner with unrivalled capabilities in high growth markets, and we're very excited to work together in building out our global platform," said BitX CEO Marcus Swanepoel.

Currencies like Bitcoin which are not under any government control have seen a growth escalation as people migrate to online transactions which have relative anonymity.

In Argentina, many business owners have turned to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as inflation foments economic instability.

"We see a bright future for cryptocurrency across a number of industry verticals, and with BitX's strong management team and solid track record, look forward to leveraging Naspers’ global platform and local knowledge to help them capitalise on these opportunities," said James Caviness, chief product officer at PayU, who will join the BitX board of directors as part of the deal.

BitX plans rapid expansion of its platform with the capital injection that should see a focus on both on Asian and African markets.

The expansion of cryptocurrency should help accelerate the development of e-commerce, especially as people increasingly rely on smartphones.

According to Juniper research, mobile e-commerce sales are projected to hit over $3.2trn by 2017.

* Fin24 is part of Media24, a subsidiary of Naspers.


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