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Investing in Bitcoin as the top cryptocurrency in the digital cash industry has been big business for the past few years. Storing all this wealth for the industry’s biggest investor has suddenly become big business for industry startup Xapo.
According to a recent report on Bloomberg.com by Tom Metcalf, the practice of hoarding Bitcoin as an investment has become common among some of the wealthiest investors. Also, this has opened the doors for Argentine entrepreneur Wences Casares and his company Xapo. The background on this opportunistic business included in this report centers on the idea that he has spent a significant amount of his time promoting Bitcoin as the currency of the future to the richest of the rich in Silicon Valley.
His primary business model consists of convincing these high-volume customers to buy more and more of the crypto while turning to his company to safeguard their holdings. The business model behind Xapo utilizes a network of underground vaults that span the globe. One of those vaults just so happens to be a decommissioned Swiss military bunker.
The Bloomberg report goes to estimate Xapo’s holding of Bitcoin in its secure vaults to be in excess of $10 billion depending on the current trading price in what has been a very volatile market. These figures were more or less confirmed by two current clients of Xapo.
To put this figure into the even more amazing scale, this holding would represent seven percent of the global supply of Bitcoin. Bloomberg.com defines this further by stating that Xapo, as a four-year-old startup holds more value in its Bitcoin deposits than 98 percent of the 5,670 banks in the United States.
The Swiss subsidiary is part of the Financial Services Standards Association as a self-regulating organization that audits members on a regular basis. The main purpose of these audits is to ensure that all members comply with its stated rules covering illegal money-laundering schemes. Xapo has been set up as a Delaware corporation to serve its US clients. It is registered with the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The report mentions that it is currently licensed in several states.
Mr. Casares has been described as a serial entrepreneur that earned the nickname “Patient Zero” for his efforts to generate interest in Bitcoin in the Silicon Valley market. Coin shares are one of the leading investment firms in crypto along with Grayscale. One of its representatives quoted in this report was Ryan Radloff, and he went on to say, “Everyone who isn’t keeping keys themselves is keeping them with Xapo. You couldn’t pay me to keep it with a bank.” Coin shares reportedly have $500 million of Bitcoin stored with this company.
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Some of the other heavy hitters backing Xapo include Reid Hoffman as the co-founder of LinkedIn and Mike Novogratz, who was a former Wall Street trader. Bitcoin investors hold their investments with a unique code, known as a key. If thieves acquire those holdings through your key, there are no means in place to recover the stolen funds. Also, this has set the stage for a company like Xapo to provide a haven for some of the most prominent Bitcoin investors in the world.
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