CryptoCurrencyWire Editorial Coverage: The astounding surge in the price of cryptocurrencies in 2017, most notably bitcoin’s rise from around $1,000 at the start of the year to over $19,000 currently, has been powered by the innovative distributed ledger technology known as the blockchain. The blockchain supports cryptocurrencies and other applications where a secure, transparent record of transactions is required. It enables these transactions by using distributed computer networks to record and store transaction data, eliminating the need for third-party validation. This revolutionary technology has enabled the ever-widening adoption of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, while leading to big gains in the stocks of companies which support or develop blockchain technology. Among the companies which stand to benefit from the increasing acceptance of the blockchain and cryptocurrencies are Victory Square Technologies, Inc. (CSE:VST) (OTC:VSQTF) (FWB:6F6) (VSQTF Profile), Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT), Hive Blockchain Technologies LTD. (TSX:HIVE), MGT Capital Investments, Inc. (OTCQB: MGTI) and Glance Tech (CSE: GET).
Victory Square Technologies, Inc. (CSE:VST) (OTC: VSQTF) (FWB:6F6) creates, funds and supports entrepreneurs with potentially disruptive technologies in the fields of blockchain technology, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, personalized health, gaming and film. Throughout its history, the company has demonstrated a knack for incubating successful innovators.
Victory Square was ahead of the crowd in realizing the blockchain represented a breakthrough investment opportunity, enabling the company to engage in multiple early partnerships and investments in the space. Victory Square scored a big win in the sector by investing three years ago in BTL Group (TSXV: BTL) (OTC: BTLLF), the first publicly traded blockchain technology company.
With BTL’s market capitalization now exceeding $200 million, Victory Square’s investment in the pioneering blockchain startup has paid off in a big way. From under $2 at the start of 2017, BTL’s U.S-traded shares have more than quintupled this year, surging to a new 52-week high of $12.76 December 19. BTL Group offers blockchain solutions for multiple industries, focusing particularly on the finance, energy, and gaming sectors. The company’s best-known product is Interbit, a blockchain platform designed to support the speedy development of business applications that significantly improve efficiency. A number of the largest institutions in the world currently use Interbit to investigate opportunities with private blockchains.
BTL co-founder Guy Halford-Thompson recently joined Victory Square’s advisory board where he will assist the company in growing and scaling its current portfolio of companies and play a vital role in its new partnership with Blockchain Investment Consortium.
“Victory Square played a key part helping BTL scale in its early days, and I’m extremely excited to join the team as an advisor. The leadership group at Victory Square has consistently shown an ability to identify large market opportunities, as well as the right teams to capitalize on them. They give them the funding, resources and relationships required to accelerate their growth and allow them to scale internationally,” Halford-Thompson stated in the press release (http://nnw.fm/MWFv6).
Victory Square provides its portfolio companies with access to education, a global mentorship network, and the expertise of its experienced management team, which possesses more than 100 years of successful entrepreneurial experience. Shafin Diamond Tejani, the company’s CEO, has launched more than 40 start-ups in 21 countries over the past two decades. He has been named both EY Technology Entrepreneur of the Year and Canadian Angel Investor of the Year.
Victory Square combines the keen eye of its executives for spotting entrepreneurial talent with its ability to offer those entrepreneurs access to its retinue of services designed to enable them to accelerate the growth of their companies. In addition to the services already mentioned, this includes distribution partners to help them move from conceptualizing products to marketing them. The company provides its portfolio firms with access to its impressive global network of over 80 business accelerators, with 20 accelerator partnerships in developing tech hubs.
The company’s wholly owned subsidiary, FansUnite Media, Inc., is developing a new social sports betting platform. FansUnite Media is a social sports data platform that offers its members data that helps them collaborate in trying to pick sporting event winners using a free virtual currency sponsored by the company. Integrating blockchain technology into FansUnite’s platform has to the potential to spur blockchain initiatives developed by associated Victory Square divisions. Regarding its blockchain efforts, Darius Eghdami, co-founder and CEO of FansUnite, said, “Blockchain technology and the inherent security it provides will enable us to push every envelope we can to build the most dynamic and responsive social sports betting platform.”
The Victory Square Health Inc. division of Victory Square serves as a venture division for the parent company, developing solutions focused on personalized health technologies. Victory Square has also invested in V2 Games, which develops and publishes high-quality mobile games. V2 Games is best known for successfully launching PAC-MAN Bounce and Beast Brawlers, two popular releases which have garnered millions of downloads. In addition, Victory Square has acquired 40 percent of United Film Fund II, LLC, which plans to produce three major motion pictures in 2017 and 2018.
In a recent press release, Victory Square announced its admission to the Blockchain Investors Consortium (BIC), a market-leading organization dedicated to pioneering professional investment activities into digital assets worldwide. The group totals in excess of $2 billion of digital assets across its members, which pool their expertise to perform due diligence with the objective of identifying opportunities in innovative blockchain-oriented companies.
“By joining this elite investment group Victory Square gains access to promising early-stage blockchain companies, bolstering Victory Square’s position as a pioneering investor in Blockchain companies in Canada and globally,” Victory Square CEO Shafin Diamond Tejani stated in the news release.
On December 11, Victory Square introduced a portfolio company VS Blockchain Assembly Inc., focused on providing financial, technical and management services to assist in the development of early-stage blockchain technology companies and to help existing technology companies integrate blockchain integration to spur growth.
“Blockchain Assembly will act as a services firm providing guidance on technology architecture and development, and will facilitate banking, legal and commercialization services,” Tejani said. “Further, Blockchain Assembly assists these companies with their fund-raising objectives, whether they pursue capital through token generation events, private funding, or raising money through the public markets. We are using our expertise at company building to identify, incubate, advise and invest in the best blockchain entrepreneurs, helping build the tech titans of the next century.”
The tremendous demand from investors for the shares of companies involved in the cryptocurrency revolution can be seen in the rapid ascent of the price of the stock of Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ: RIOT). After changing its name from Bioptix Pharma and reorienting its focus from biopharmaceuticals to the blockchain, RIOT stock has soared from under $7 early in November to a high above $46 in mid-December.
The company’s goal is to brand itself as a leading blockchain authority and offer investment exposure to the blockchain environment. Riot has announced a strategic investment in Verady, LLC, which provides accounting standards and auditing services to the cryptocurrency market. Riot also owns a stake in Coinsquare, the Canadian digital currency exchange, as well as a majority ownership position in TessPay, which serves as a blockchain-based payment resource for wholesale telecom carriers. Cresval Capital Corp. recently signed a merger agreement with TessPay which, when completed, would make TessPay Riot’s first investment to be spun off into an independent public company.
Another segment of the cryptocurrency space which has attracted intense interest from investors is cryptocurrency mining. HIVE Blockchain Technologies (OTCPK: PRELF, TSX.V: HIVE) is an early mover in the sector which has amply rewarded investors in its shares. Its stock traded on the OTCPK exchange has exploded from $0.07 at the start of the year to over $3 at one point this year, and $2.68 as of December 15. Cryptocurrency miners operate by verifying transactions using blockchain technology, and are commonly rewarded with digital coins for their services. To build the next generation of infrastructure for blockchain transactions, HIVE has entered into a strategic partnership with Genesis Mining LTD. HIVE has advanced digital currency mining operations in Iceland that work 24/7 producing digital currency. Low energy costs at the location enable reduced working capital requirements giving the company the flexibility to sell coins to optimize profits when it feels the time is right.
MGT Capital Investments (OTCQB: MGTI) is a U.S. based bitcoin miner that has seen its shares skyrocket recently, rising from under $1 in April of this year to $4.20 as of December 15. The company plans to expand, and is working on the development of a portfolio of cyber security applications with the assistance of security software luminary John McAfee. The goal is to create advanced protection technologies for corporate networks and devices for personal use. MGT Capital has reported that it plans to purchase a further 500 S9 Antminer rigs from Bitmain Technologies, with delivery to be completed early in 2018. Once the new cryptocurrency rigs have been added to the company’s existing rigs, MGT Capital will have over 5,000 Bitmain S9s mining bitcoins, generating millions of dollars of monthly revenue.
Glance Technologies (CSE: GET:CC) is another firm positioning itself to benefit from the adoption of cryptocurrencies. The company operates Glance Pay, which is a payment system designed to allow smartphone users to choose where they want to eat, order goods and services, send payments, access receipts, and earn rewards and interact with merchants. The company is focused on building an extensive network of merchants and consumers who can use its targeted in-app marketing, digital coupons, and other services. Glance Pay is currently working on a rewards-based cryptocurrency it plans to integrate into its platform. The Glance Pay mobile payment app functions as a secure, streamlined method of paying restaurant bills. Glance Technologies announced in December that it had completed its purchase of the Blockimpact cryptocurrency and blockchain solution from Ztudium Inc. The company intends to integrate Blockimpact into the Glance Pay mobile payment platform.
With the cryptocurrency-led blockchain revolution still in the early innings, the potential for forward-thinking companies to disrupt existing industries and processes has captured the attention of investors around the world. The companies named in this article have all positioned themselves to play a part in the explosion of innovation that has been unleashed by the rise of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain.
For more information on Victory Square, visit Victory Square Technologies, Inc. (CSE:VST) (OTC: VSQTF) (FWB:6F6)
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