​Former bitcoin miner Digital X reports $1.2m Q3 loss

ASX-listed Digital X has posted a $1.2 million loss for the three months ended March 31, 2016, less than half a year after rebranding and taking a step back from bitcoin mining.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Fintech firm Digital X has reported a third quarter operating loss of $1.27 million.

For the three months ended March 31, 2016, Digital X's bitcoin trading activity produced approximately $5.7 million in revenue, which the company said helped to offset the cash burn its AirPocket remittance product caused, as well as the "winding down" of bitcoin mining.

Previously, Digital X was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) as DigitalBTC, undergoing not only a name change in October, but a shift in business model as well.

DigitalBTC, trading as Digital CC, was formerly solely involved in bitcoin mining, a procedure whereby a company is rewarded with the cryptocurrency for performing calculations that secure the blockchain and confirm the validity of a transaction.

However, the company did not ditch the cryptocurrency altogether, spending $6.7 million on the purchase of bitcoins for its liquidity desk, and over half a million on the power and hosting requirements for the cryptocurrency the past quarter.

Referencing the ASX, which is implementing its own blockchain technology to replace or upgrade the ASX's main trading and post-trade platforms, executive chairman Zhenya Tsvetnenko said it is not only banks employing the technology in its operations.

"The last quarter has seen a growing recognition that the blockchain is the most secure and efficient online transaction system," Tsvetnenko said.

"It is only a matter of time before the blockchain comes into the mainstream and Digital X is in pole position as first mover in the money transfer space to benefit from this trend."

While Digital X told shareholders bitcoin exchange volume fell due to decreased volatility in price, it said the total number of bitcoin transactions increased.

"The company is increasingly confident that the focus on blockchain technology will lead to significant shareholder returns," the company said in a statement Friday.

"The company continues to morph from bitcoin mining to become a disruptor in the global payments market with its ... instant blockchain-based money transfer app, AirPocket."

In May, Digital X raised AU$3.5 million to fund the development and rollout of AirPocket, an app-based peer-to-peer, cross-currency cash remittance platform. After rebranding, Digital X announced its focus would be on the AirPocket platform, saying that the rebranding represented a strategic change from a focus on bitcoin as a mechanism to store value to a focus on software development.

The company said it is currently involved in discussions with partners in the US and Latin America around AirPocket; however the product is not available in Australia.

The company has only been on the ASX since June 2014 after it performed a reverse takeover of investment firm Macro Energy.

As a result, the 2014 financial year was the last time the company sat in positive territory, with net profit after tax of $600,000 on revenue of $4 million, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of $2.5 million.

A year on, the company reported a net loss after tax of $6.77 million, and negative EBITDA of $3.16 million for the full year, ending June 2015.

Digital X reported a total operating and investing cash flow of $410,000 for the first half of the 2016 financial year on the back of a second quarter increase of 33 percent year-on-year to $746,000.

As of December 31, 2015, Digital X said it held the equivalent of $400,000 in bitcoin, along with $3 million in cash. No third quarter inventory was provided.

Digital X remains the only ASX-listed company to pursue the bitcoin space, with Melbourne-based Bitcoin Group forced to pull out of its IPO due to a listing rule that prevented the forecasting of the value of bitcoin, meaning the working capital report was unable to allow for any increase in the cryptocurrency's price once the number of bitcoins available to be mined halved in July.

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