Bitspark Fades Out Following COO Maxine Ryan’s Departure

Neither Ryan nor Harrap elaborated on the structuring issues which forced Monday’s announcement. Both did reference recent events, including the long-running Hong Kong protests and the recent outbreak of the coronvirus nCoV-2019, as other factors weighing in on the decision.

Hong Kong-based remittance startup Bitspark is shutting down next month.

CEO and co-founder George Harrap announced Monday that the company, with operations in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam, would be permanently shuttering its doors on March 4. Customers will have until that day to freely withdraw their funds; customers can request withdrawals for a further 90 days after.

“Unfortunately due to internal restructuring that hasn’t worked out, and a decision taken by shareholders internally, we have made the decision to close our doors,” Harrap wrote.

“While I hoped the company would continue especially due to the month-over-month growth, it was determined that due to its inconstancy it wasn’t predictable enough to continue,” she said. “I have to respect this decision.”

“While the HK protests and now virus epidemic haven’t affected us much, it hasn’t helped either,” Harrap wrote.

The company saw a 400 percent month-over-month growth after releasing its Cash Point product last year, Harrap said.

It appeared to be one of the few companies to raise funds through an initial coin offering in 2017 which successfully brought a product to market and serve a customer base.

“As founders we lost our dreams, as a team we lost our future, customers of their services and shareholders of equity and #ZEPH their investment,” Ryan wrote.

BitPay Launches In-Store Crypto Payments With New POS Partnership

Blockchain payments provider BitPay is now taking its service into bricks-and-mortar stores.

Through a new partnership announced Tuesday, the firm will be offering cryptocurrency payments at merchants’ point-of-sale (POS) terminals.

The effort comes via BitPay’s new tie-up with open commerce platform Poynt, which the announcement says already has a network of POS devices online at over 100,000 retailers globally.

“It’s a massive growth opportunity for BitPay”, said BitPay CEO and co-founder Stephen Pair, “and an important milestone in our now-nine-year mission to make payments faster, more secure and less expensive for people and businesses.”

Poynt offers both the hardware and software for its “smart” POS terminal, which can also run third-party apps. The firm said in the announcement it recently passed $9 billion in gross payment volume over a 12-month period.

“Poynt was built on the idea of open commerce,” said Osama Bedier, the firm’s founder and CEO. “The addition of open-source, decentralized currencies like bitcoin is a natural fit in our open-commerce environment.”

Last month, Bitpay added support for the XRP cryptocurrency in its wallet app after working with Ripple’s developer arm, Xpring. The crypto payments firm has said it processed over $1 billion in transactions every year from 2017 to 2019.

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