First Spot FX Blockchain clearing firm FXCH Aiming to Raise €8.5m including Seedrs crowdfunding

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On its way to bringing a much needed change to the Foreign Exchange markets, FXCH Ltd. – the Spot-FX Clearing House, which in July, settled the first FX trade on the Blockchain – is attempting to disrupt again.

The first round of financing of the Irish Startup begins this week with an Equity Crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs.com.

We asked Franck Mikulecz, FXCH’s Managing Director, why the use of Crowdfunding when traditional sources of investment are not in short supply for FinTech in general, and Blockchain implementations in particular.

“First, Equity Crowdfunding epitomises the spirit of Open Source, from which we have benefited over the years. It is a way for us to give back, allowing the crowd – private investors – to join our efforts in disrupting the markets”, says Mikulecz. “Then, you have the buzz that a successful campaign brings to a Startup business. We are trying to lead the Foreign Exchange market out of an impasse, where doing things the way they have always been done (banks settling FX trades bilaterally) is not working anymore. I think Crowdfunding attracts people who want to do things differently. By starting with Crowdfunding, I think we send the right message.”

FXCH is not a student garage Startup with little experience in Foreign Exchange. Some of the founders have worked together for over 20 years, beginning in the FX Futures markets when the NYBOT-Finex set up shop in Dublin in in 1995.

Their experience in Futures is where the central clearing concept bug took shape. A few attempts were made to partner with established Exchanges to offer a Cleared Spot-FX service. But for budget reasons or just cultural differences, it never took off. 

Marc Despallieres, Director of APAC at FXCH says:

“When we traded on the Futures pits in France many years ago, we did not realise how advanced the central counterparty model was, the hidden gem behind the exchange’s open outcry system”. “What we are bringing to the OTC world of Spot-FX with FXCH is this streamlined simplicity of a Clearing House. Our usage of the Blockchain reinforces that simplicity with transparency.”

This Crowdfunding campaign is not the only source for the €8.5 million that the company is raising. There are already strategic investors – not VCs – in discussion to participate right after this round.

“Of course we want to disrupt the way the market is structured. But with the support of established names in the Investment Banking, Brokering and Hedge Fund Sectors, and even the possibility of an Exchange, we can establish the Clearing House’s credibility and get a faster consensus around this concept”, added Mikulecz.

Seedrs.com is a British platform that has been particularly successful in FinTech fund raising. It operates via nominee vehicles so all investors, small or large, have the same investment conditions and protection. In addition, HMRC is supporting the Startups movement in the UK with the very generous S/EIS tax credit scheme for private investors (up to 50% tax rebates). With a permanent base in London, FXCH is able to benefit from the scheme.

More info at www.fxclr.com 

About Richard Kastelein

Founder of industry publication Blockchain News, partner at ICO services collective CryptoAsset Design Group (helped raise over $200m+), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser at leading industry event  CryptoFinancing (first ICO event in Europe) - Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of half a dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1200 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.
 
Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London, Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, Shanghai,Tel Aviv and Venice. His network is global and extensive.
 
He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French.
 
A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world.
 
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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