In brief

  • Taiwanese startup CoolBitX has raised $16.75 million in a Series B round.
  • The company builds software that helps others comply with new FATF anti-money laundering regulations.
  • The Travel Rule now requires crypto exchanges to collect more information about their customers.

Chiefs from G20 countries urged the world’s leaders yesterday to implement the so-called “travel rule,” which requires that companies processing cryptocurrency payments collect information about their customers, and send that on to the recipient organization. 

The regulation comes from the Financial Action Task Force, the world’s leading standard setter that recommends which money laundering policies governments should implement. Some crypto industry insiders described the measure as a “draconian” invasion of privacy when it was first introduced last June.

Since then, crypto exchanges have scrambled to provide a solution, and invested millions in the space in the hopes of finding one. Companies headquartered in the western world, like London-based Coinfirm and Menlo Park-based CypherTrace both promise to have working solutions. 

And today, Taiwanese-based CoolBitX announced that it has raised $16.75 million in a Series B funding round to capture the Asian markets with its own answer to the FATF problem, called Sygna.

The funding round for the latest venture was led by a Japanese financial group, SBI Holdings, whose parent company SBI Group has a close relationship with Ripple. The National Development of Taiwan, the Korean cryptocurrency exchange BitSonic, and Japanese financial group Monex also participated. This brings the company’s total funding to $30.4 million, according to Crunchbase.

A press release accompanying the announcement said that some of the raise will fund development of CoolBitX’s wallet, CoolWallet S, and some of it will go toward expanding Sygna. CoolbitX claims that more than 10 exchanges are using Sygna or testing it. All of the exchanges CoolBitX listed were in Japan, South Korea, or Taiwan. 

“In the global blockchain race, the rate of adoption and innovation in Asia is undeniable, witnessed by regulatory developments and investments in the past year,” said Michael Ou, CEO of CoolBitX in a statement. He added that the company will be pushing its efforts in Japan this year.