Canadian cryptocurrency platform Coinsquare got itself a crucial alliance on Wednesday, announcing a partnership with Processing.com.
"As digital currencies increasingly make their way into the mainstream conscious, service providers have a responsibility to ensure the broader public can access the rapidly growing Blockchain ecosystem," Processing.com CRO James Bergman said in a statement. "Processing.com is proud to facilitate fiat currency payments of digital currencies for the general public through Visa and MasterCard transactions."
Such an agreement is a big deal in today's environment. Several banks and credit card companies have come down hard on payments to coin exchanges. Beyond that, Coinsquare CEO Cole Diamond mentioned it was "important" to get a "market leading innovative payments partner." The arrangement will allow use of direct purchase of altcoins without needing bitcoin, ethereum, or even a previously existing digital wallet. Coinsquare claims $5 billion in annual transactions, earning itself a strong reputation but also indicative of concerns governments have for such an unregulated industry.
Transparency and legitimacy
Concerns about getting it right and assigning the industry a degree of legitimacy are front and center for Coinsquare. Last month, Canada's Financial Post reported on how the company is preparing for a $150 million IPO.
“We’re racing, but racing to do it right,” Diamond said in January. “We’re going to take the old-school route as an IPO to the Toronto Stock Exchange.”
While people might be nervous about going in on a crypto exchange, just being willing to go public about its finances could give the company a boost.
Even though industry skeptics point to a rash of questionable altcoins that have hit the market via ICOs, exchanges might also represent other indicators of doubt. Bitconnect's collapse in January plus customer service issues at Coinbase deter trust in trading platforms. Crackdowns on exchanges in South Korea, China, India, and Israel also have potential investors waiting on the sidelines.
Projects like VersaBank's "blockchain-based digital safety deposit box" (i.e., a crypto vault) make Canada look like an attractive destination for dedicated crypto traders.
Coinsquare (along with Canada as a market) has an opportunity here. Securing a legitimate payments partner and eyeing expansion into the US and UK, position the company as a decent bet for IPO watchers. Supporting regulation and filling gaps where other exchanges fall short might give Canada a premiere crypto exchange.