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Blockchain Investment Group (BCI), an Australian digital currency investment fund, will consider acquisitions for its Qoin Australia group company shortly after the global release of its Qoin cryptocurrency next year, said Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Barker.

Brisbane-headquartered BCI, which also owns Queensland-based Bartercard Group, will target firms that can help fast track expansion of its consumer and merchant user base, in line with its goal to build a global shopping community of 10m merchants by 2040, Barker said.

The company is keen to acquire firms that have databases of merchants and consumers such as discount voucher sites, online shopping malls and marketplaces, as well as companies in the rewards space, he added.

BCI would be receptive advisory approaches with target referrals from the beginning of 2021, Barker said.

Potential targets could be based in Australia or offshore, the executive said, noting that from late 2020, Qoin Group will start rolling out in the UK, Europe, Asia, South America, North America, Africa, and the Middle East.

Qoin runs on Qoin Blockchain, which has been developed on the Quorum platform, built by JPMorgan Chase in partnership with Microsoft. The platform delivers scalable and speedy transactions and is interoperable with other tokens, chains and exchanges, Barker said.

Qoin differentiates itself from other cryptocurrencies in that it is backed by goods and services, Barker said. It is used within a community of buyers and sellers transacting in Qoin for everyday goods and services, providing merchants with an opportunity to earn Qoin when they accept it as payment. It can then be used for expenses or exchanged for cash over an exchange, he said.

Qoin is primarily targeting markets that have nominal banking restrictions and strong support for alternative currency trading options, such as India and China in Asia, he noted.

Launched in late 2019, Qoin Australia already has close to 5,000 merchants on its platform and has grown at 50% month-on-month since January 2020, Barker said. Qoin is expected to go live to consumers in Australia and New Zealand this August and will start trading on the Australia-based Block Trade Exchange in November.

BCI will fund growth initiatives including acquisitions via trading revenue, Barker said, noting it expects total trading revenue of about AUD 100m (USD 70m) for 2021.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, governments globally have allocated more than USD 10trn for economic stimulus and businesses are looking for additional ways to generate new customers and income, including turning to alternate forms of payment like cryptocurrencies, Barker said.

The current market cap of the some 5,000 publicly traded cryptocurrencies is USD 258bn based on total cryptocurrencies in circulation, with Qoin currently having a market cap of some AUD 243m, Barker said.

Article by Louise Weihart in Sydney
Published by Acuris Mergermarket, an ION Group company