​ASX-listed Digital X reports ninth quarterly loss

Digital X has posted its ninth quarterly loss, shooting $591,000 into the red for the second quarter of the 2017 financial year.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Digital X has reported a loss for the second quarter of the 2017 financial year, seeing the fintech firm post only one profitable quarter since landing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in June 2014.

For the six months to December 30, 2016, Digital X reported an operating loss of $1.06 million, taking a $591,000 hit in the second quarter. At the end of the period, Digital X also held cash and cash equivalents of $973,000.

Receipts from customers totalled $8.9 million, however $8.4 million was then spent on the purchase of bitcoins for the organisation's liquidity desk. The hosting of bitcoin mining equipment also set Digital X back $240,000 for the six-month period.

During the second quarter, Digital X said bitcoin trading operations generated over $2 million in revenue.

In delivering its first quarter results, Digital X reported a $473,000 operating loss, attributing the loss to the domino effect the hack on cryptocurrency exchange platform Bitfinex had on the bitcoin market.

"The hack of two bitcoin exchanges saw the decision to suspend all post-paid customers and suspend Market Making operations," Digital X told shareholders in November.

At the time, it was also revealed that the company had spent $6 million on bitcoins in those three months alone.

Currently, the company is reviewing its bitcoin operations and said it has been in "active discussions" with interested parties to leverage the knowledge, trading platform, and customer base of Digital X Direct.

"The bitcoin side of the business has been invaluable for the company to gain development expertise in blockchain-based applications that are truly differentiated from the market," Digital X told shareholders on Wednesday. "The company will finalise the process in February to monetise the investment in the platform."

Digital X completed a share placement of 31,940,000 fully paid ordinary shares in December at an issue price of $0.05 per share, which saw the company raise $1.62 million. A further 4,232,000 shares were then issued in January on the same terms to raise a total of $211,600.

The company did not disclose what it will be spending the funds on.

Digital X chairman and co-founder Zhenya Tsvetnenko announced his resignation in July, with the company telling shareholders he would "relinquish" his executive role to pursue "personal interests".

Tsvetnenko, along with two others, has been accused by prosecutors in the United States for scheming customers with unsolicited text messages, according to Reuters.

"The matter is before the court, and Mr Zhenya Tsvetnenko will be defending all allegations against him," Evelyn Duffy, a spokesperson on behalf of Tsvetnenko, previously told ZDNet.

Then, during the second quarter, Digital X announced the departure of the remaining co-founders, with William Brindise resigning and Alex Karis having his contract with Digital CC Holdings Pty Ltd terminated. At the same time, the company appointed existing chairman Leigh Travers to the role of CEO.

Faisal Khan also jumped on as a non-executive director, Toby Hicks joined as the board's interim chair, and Neel Krishnan was announced as company president.

"The changes have enabled significant savings to be generated from salary and office expenditures," the company said Wednesday. "The reduction in salaries has enabled a saving of AU$1 million per annum."

Digital X originally found itself listed on the ASX after performing a reverse takeover of investment firm Macro Energy almost three years ago. Digital X only emerged in October 2015, however, after DigitalBTC -- trading as Digital CC -- underwent a name change and shift in business model as well.

Digital X raised AU$3.5 million to fund the development and rollout of AirPocket, its app-based cash remittance product, in late 2015. After rebranding, Digital X announced its focus would be on the AirPocket platform, saying that the new name and direction represented a strategic change from a focus on bitcoin as a mechanism in order to store value to a focus on software development.

During the first half of 2017, Digital X signed an agreement with AT&T Mexico to allow users in the United States the ability to transfer funds via AirPocket directly into the mobile phone accounts of users on the teclo's network.

It also signed with US-based Servicio UniTeller, which gives AirPocket access to a network of 17,000 cash-out locations in Mexico, which includes Walmart and all of Mexico's major banks.

An arrangement with PayKii -- a platform allowing individuals living abroad to pay the bills of family back home in Latin America -- is due to kick off shortly, and will give AirPocket customers further access to sending money overseas.

Although Digital X is based in Perth, AirPocket is not available in Australia.

For the three months ending December 30, 2015, the company recorded its first and only profitable quarter, posting an operating profit of $746,000.

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