SMS tycoon makes foray into Bitcoin

13/03/2014 - 14:09

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Macro Energy will become the first Australian-listed company to enter the Bitcoin phenomenon under plans spearheaded by Perth SMS entrepreneur Zhenya Tsvetnenko.

SMS tycoon makes foray into Bitcoin
Perth SMS entrepreneur Zhenya Tsvetnenko. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Macro Energy will become the first Australian-listed company to enter the Bitcoin phenomenon under plans spearheaded by Perth SMS entrepreneur Zhenya Tsvetnenko.

Macro, which was previously an oil and gas investor, announced plans to enter the digital currency sector through the acquisition of Digital CC Holdings and its wholly-owned operating entity digitalBTC.

As the operating company, digitalBTC is a Bitcoin ‘miner’ and digital currency trading platform.

As part of the takeover agreement, Macro will complete a share consolidation lowering the number of shares on issue to 38.1 million.

Macro will also issue digitalBTC vendors with 82.8 million shares, and execute a $9.1 million capital raising by issuing 45.5 million shares at 20 cents per share.

Macro said the capital raising, which was being arranged by DJ Carmichael, had been oversubscribed after receiving firm commitments for the full amount.

Mr Tsvetnenko, along with existing Macro shareholders Navitas managing director Rod Jones and Transerv Energy executive chairman Craig Ian Burton, have subscribed to the raising.

Mr Jones’ stake in Macro will increase to 12 per cent following the share issue.

Upon shareholder approval of the deal, Macro will change its name to DigitalCC Limited and its board members Scott Jones and Mark Freeman, as well as managing director Brett Lawrence, will resign.

Mr Tsvetnenko will become executive chairman of the new company.

Alex Karis, the president and founder of US digital marketing firm Karis Marketing Group, will be appointed chief executive and managing director.

Emmanuel Abiodun, who launched one of the largest Bitcoin mining companies in the world, CloudHashing.com, and William Brindise, will be appointed as directors.

“Bitcoin is a highly exciting and fast emerging currency system, which I believe will dramatically change the way many users approach making payments or financial transfers in our new hyper-connected, globalised world where the old boundaries and intermediaries between citizens and firms in different locations become less relevant,” Mr Tsvetnenko said.

“We believe that sophisticated intermediaries such as digitalBTC can derive significant profit in supporting this emerging growth phase of Bitcoin, as it takes its place as a true worldwide currency.”

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment system and digital currency which is not governed by a central bank.

Bitcoins can be collected, or mined, online by using computers to solve highly complex algorithmic equations.

The use of the currency has grown in popularity in recent years with approximately 44,000 merchants now accepting Bitcoin.

However, the value of Bitcoins has fluctuated hugely in recently times. Less than two years ago one Bitcoin was worth about $US5 but peaked at $US1,230 in December last year.

In February the value of the currency slumped to about $US240 after Mt. Gox, once the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, closed and filed for bankruptcy when it lost 750,000 Bitcoins it was holding for third parties.

Tokyo-based Mt. Gox claimed the Bitcoins, worth about $US480 million at today’s exchange rate, were stolen by computer hackers.

One Bitcoin was most recently fetching about $US630.

Across the major US Bitcoin exchanges, more than $US20 million in value is traded every 24 hours, according to Macro.

Mr Tsvetnenko was the Business News 40under40 First Amongst Equals in 2011, as well as being named Ernst & Young’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010.

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