GreenBank Capital (CSE:GBC), the Bitcoin merchant bank, says it has made its first investment through its new Bitcoin Angel subsidiary, acquiring 20% of the Sovereign Exchange International, which issues Sovereign virtual trade currency and operates the Sovereign Exchange.
The corporate finance firm, which recently launched two new Bitcoin subsidiaries that seek to invest in the increasingly popular virtual currency, said the Sovereign Exchange will change its name to Sovereign Bitcoin Exchange, to reflect its proposed expansion into the Bitcoin marketplace.
The exchange will facilitate the conversion of physical gold or silver into Bitcoin, which GreenBank said will provide precious metal investors with "purchasing-power within a business community that extends price discounts for virtual grams of silver, known as Sovereigns."
Every Sovereign will be 100% secured by investment grade bullion, and can be tendered between members or used at any time to claim physical gold or silver.
The Sovereign Bitcoin Exchange will thus act as a clearing-house for the trading activity, earning a commission on each transaction, and providing a window for members to deposit or withdraw their bullion, according to a company statement.
GreenBank said the 20% purchase was made through one of its recently launched Bitcoin subsidiaries, known as Bitcoin Angel Capital, which issued 100,000 of $1 convertible debentures Series B to acquire the stake from Steven Merrill, the founder and president of the Sovereign Exchange. The debentures are secured on the 20% investment and will convert on or before December 31, 2015 into 400,000 common shares of Bitcoin Angel, simultaneous with the listing of Bitcoin Angel on the CSE.
“We are delighted to be associated with GreenBank and Bitcoin Angel as we move our unique Exchange into the Bitcoin space," said Merrill in the release announcing the sale.
"Since personally taking a significant position in Bitcoin in February 2013 and then helping many Exchange members and shareholders do the same, we have received numerous inquiries from hard-money investors looking to make the same transaction.
"The new expanded Exchange can facilitate these transactions without the silver or gold bullion ever entering the public domain. A conversion to fiat money is not required, and the commissions are paid in Sovereigns, not in cash."
The Sovereign Exchange will undergo an extensive rebranding, the parties said, and will give the Bitcoin investor an opportunity to find a position in a silver-anchored virtual currency, which can be used to take physical delivery of bullion, or sold among the more than 350,000 members of the commercial trade or barter community across North America.
Over the next few weeks, the renamed exchange plans to establish more depots across Canada for bullion investors, making it easier and faster to charge their Sovereign accounts and bid for Bitcoin.
GreenBank said that with the current Bitcoin exchange-rate at approximately $950, the exchange rate for one Bitcoin would be approximately 1375 Sovereigns, or for one Sovereign approximately 0.0005018 BTC. The Sovereign exchange rate is currently $0.69.
“This is the first angel investment made by Bitcoin Angel, and we are excited to be participating in the growth and development of the new Sovereign Bitcoin Exchange and the silver-backed Sovereign,” said CEO of GreenBank, Danny Wettreich, who has also been appointed a director and chairman of the new Exchange.
Merrill, a pioneer in commercial exchange trading platforms, will continue to lead the Sovereign Bitcoin Exchange as president and majority owner.
GreenBank's Bitcoin Angel subsidiary invests in early stage Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency-focused companies, while its other subsidiary, Bitcoin Canada, invests in Bitcoin, which is created and held electronically, with no single institution controlling the Bitcoin network. The virtual currency on Monday surpassed the $1,000 mark again after Zynga said it would start accepting Bitcoin for some of its online social games.
The merchant bank is currently raising up to $5 million of convertible secured debentures through a private placement to secure funds for its Bitcoin subsidiaries.
To get a more in-depth look at GreenBank's story, investors should make time to come see the company present with Proactiveinvestors across Canada next week at a series of investor forums beginning in Toronto on January 13th. For more details on venues and times, and to register for the events, please click here.