Friday, 23 November 2018 06:13

Aust cryptocurrency exchange launches blockchain innovation hub

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The IR Ventures executive team: chief operating officer Lasanka Perera, chief executive Adrian Przelozny and chief technology officer Roman Stefanidi. The IR Ventures executive team: chief operating officer Lasanka Perera, chief executive Adrian Przelozny and chief technology officer Roman Stefanidi. Supplied

Australia's biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Independent Reserve, has launched a blockchain innovation hub and co-working space in Sydney.

In a statement, the company said the initiative, known as IR Ventures, had attracted tenants such as the Australian Digital Commerce Association, social enterprise blockchain firm Genereos and private investment company Spectre Capital.

Independent Reserve chief executive Adrian Przelozny said: “When we founded Independent Reserve in 2013, the blockchain ecosystem in Australia was non-existent; we knew something had to change.

"We had a vision of helping accelerate blockchain innovation in Australia which underlines our core purpose at Independent Reserve – helping foster a vibrant and thriving community behind blockchain entrepreneurship and innovation.

“We began by building one of Australia’s first digital currency exchanges to ensure that the footprint of blockchain innovators across the country could be recognised and continue to spur on the adoption of digital currencies by making them mainstream.

“IR Ventures extends on that vision and our commitment of working towards one common goal: developing our local blockchain ecosystem and strengthening Sydney’s credentials as a regional hub for blockchain innovation.”

Apart from Przelozny, other mentors who are involved with IR Ventures are Mike Bacina of law firm Piper Alderman, Martin Rogers of venture capital firm KTM Ventures, research and development adviser Nick Falzon of PKF, and Paul Kang, co-founder of application security start-up Entersoft.

IR Ventures aims to invest in, and support, a maximum of 24 Australians firms in the early stages of commercialisation. Those who are building blockchain and fintech solutions will also be considered.

Independent Reserve director and KTM Ventures Innovation Fund chief investment officer Martin Rogers said more needed to be done to help encourage Australia’s gifted and talented blockchain entrepreneurs and help them grow.

“Every now and again you get to work with an amazing company and this is Independent Reserve.The founders have competently delivered for customers a real-world exchange implementation of blockchain technology as a main architecture underpinning cryptocurrencies,” he said.

“IR Ventures is the next leg of the journey allowing for the iterative breed of start-ups to join on the success of Independent Reserve. We are honoured at KTM Ventures to be part of the journey and look forward to the next implementations of innovation.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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