Callaghan Innovation has placed $315,000 into a local cryptocurrency savings and trading startup now called Vimba.
Vimba, formerly known as MyCryptoSaver, is an Auckland-based firm that started in 2014. Its mission was to offer all New Zealanders a way to invest small weekly amounts in Bitcoin.
Vimba now manages $6.5 million worth of Bitcoin for 5,616 customers. It has also completed two investment rounds and will launch in the UK over the coming weeks.
Despite volatility in many cryptocurrency markets, that hasn't stopped Callaghan Innovation from placing its bets.
“This is a truly significant investment from Callaghan Innovation and a real show of faith in the future of this very exciting asset class,” says Vimba CEO Sam Blackmore.
“The money will go towards new key features for our expanding service. We will use it to build secure multi-signature crypto wallets for our users and we're also looking into expanding the range of cryptocurrencies available to them — beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Blackmore adds that despite the bearish cryptocurrency market, Vimba's user base has remained stable.
“This shows that our user-base shares the same long term view of crypto and blockchain more generally as we do: it's still a very nascent technology with tremendous potential.
Blackmore notes that volatile periods are to be expected from cryptocurrency markets – in fact volatility has existed ever since Bitcoin was born.
“The long term trendline has always been up and our outlook is long term."
The company says its platform's dollar cost average approach to ride the long term upward trend of cryptocurrencies, rather than its short term fluctuations, proved popular with users.
“We believe Bitcoin will at least reach the market cap of gold as it is a more efficient, more accessible, more secure version of that rare asset. For it to reach the market cap of gold, one Bitcoin would be worth around $600,000 — more than 60 times what it's worth today.
Blackmore says that the company rebranded to Vimba because it's now much more than a savings platform; it's also a trading platform where users can buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum to anyone in the world.
The word Vimba can bean different things in different languages: In Shona it means ‘trust', which is what the company derives its idea from.
“Some people ask whether the crypto ship has already sailed and whether it's too late to start investing, but when you take the long term view, it's clear this is still just the beginning.