Fresh after its announcement to acquire First Ledger Corporation, the parent of Bitbuy, the first approved crypto marketplace in Canada, WonderFi Technologies Inc. (NEO: WNDR), which is backed by famous investor Kevin O’Learysaid it is acquiring Coinberry for $ 32.2 million.
This acquisition of one of Canada’s largest crypto-trading platforms positions WonderFi as one of the world’s leading consolidators of licensed crypto exchanges.
That’s according to CEO Ben Samaroo, who spoke with Benzinga ahead of the announcement.
See below for more on WonderFi’s go-forward action plan.
Market Leader: WonderFi is mending the inequalities of current finance ecosystems.
It’s doing so through decentralized finance or DeFi, the technology that allows market participants to lend, borrow and swap smart contracts.
Unlike centralized finance (CeFi), in DeFi there are no intermediaries that tax the system. Participants on WonderFi’s platform earn yields or trading revenue for posting liquidity.
Further, WonderFi’s demonstrated its first step in merging the worlds of CeFi and DeFi through its acquisition of Bitbuy, earlier this year.
In also acquiring Coinberry, WonderFi is positioning itself as one of the largest crypto ecosystems and leading consolidators in the space seeking to pass along cost efficiencies to users and accelerate crypto innovation, broadly.
In total, WonderFi has over 750,000 registered users.
“That would give us the biggest user base for any crypto company,” Samaroo said on the firm’s Canadian presence and intent to de-fragment crypto markets.
“This acquisition establishes us as the leading platform in Canada, and we’re looking at other acquisitions and opportunities to grow the company into new markets.”
Central Access: A focus for WonderFi is to cut down on user attrition due to the forced closure of gaps – defragmentation – between brands after consolidations.
The company is doing so, according to Samaroo, through seamless sign-on experiences like WonderFi Connect, a function that enables users to toggle between different accounts with ease.
“We’ve created unified access to digital assets,” the CEO explained. “One of the big problems that people have with their access to different platforms is keeping track of wallets, keys, passwords, and so on.”
“It’s a privacy issue,” he added.
That means, now, Coinberry’s over 220,000 users will be trading crypto within WonderFi’s regulated marketplaces. With this volume, WonderFi is unlocking a deeper pool of liquidity.
More liquidity means better prices, all else being equal.
Also Read: Bitcoin 2022 Exclusive: Building A Financial System For The 100%
Why Consolidate: The crypto industry is ripe for consolidation.
“You have to take part in consolidation, or you’ll get left behind,” Samaroo said of the Bitbuy acquisition being a wake-up call to many existing, smaller players.
“It’s the picks and shovels – the exchanges – that provide access to crypto,” that will benefit due to their stronger performance during heightened market volatility.
How Money Helps: WonderFi has raised about $ 100 million in capital since its inception. That provides it with a strong balance sheet to pivot to new areas like non-fungible tokens (NFTs), play-to-earn gaming on-ramps, and beyond.
“We’re trying to provide public market investors with exposure to crypto,” Samaroo said. “That exposure to revenue and our balance sheet… [will help] WonderFi is expanding to several new global markets and diversifying its product offerings across emerging segments. ”
O’Leary, who is an early backer, played a pivotal role in the firm’s move to continue iterating and potentially expanding to geographies where the regulators are as advanced as Canada’s. He will also be a keynote speaker at the upcoming Benzinga Psychedelics Capital Conference, taking place on April 19.
“Bitcoin, Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH), WonderFi, Bitbuy are all software and [compliant]”O’Leary said in a conversation with Benzinga earlier this year. “If you’re in the UAE, Brazil, or Switzerland, why wouldn’t you consider these platforms?”
The Long Game: “The more accretive assets you can build up now, the better.”
WonderFi is most concerned with building a solid foundation for growth in 2022 and beyond.
Half a year from now, Samaroo expects the firm to be in several new global markets, with NFT integrations and other product offerings being planned.
“WonderFi’s management team continues to execute on accretive acquisitions, and this is an extremely important one because it shows the speed and vision behind WonderFi’s plan,” O’Leary said in a note shared with Benzinga. “Compliant access to crypto is what matters, and WonderFi has quickly established itself as a leader in Canada. Next stop, global. ”
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