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Altucher-Backed Crypto Exchange Raising $10 Million

Pete Rizzo
A prominent mainstream investor is taking aim at entrance into the cryptocurrency sector with a new business venture.

Investment guru James Altucher, heralded by some members of the mainstream press as the "face of the bitcoin bubble" for his outsize presence in internet ads, is investing in a new cryptocurrency venture.

As detailed in an SEC filing dated Thursday, Altucher has invested in a seed round for a Delaware company called Bitzumi, Inc., which intends to offer a forthcoming newsletter product and exchange service. The firm plans to raise up to $10 million, with a minimum raise of $1 million.

While Altucher is described as a co-founder both in the text and on the company's website, in emailed statements, he backed off of this categorization, calling himself just an investor and supporter of the firm. Affiliation aside, the filing indicates Bitzumi plans to use the new funds to grow its business into other verticals.

"Bitzumi Publishing's goal is to dominate search engine traffic in the cryptocurrency industry and drive traffic to both our Bitzumi exchange and other product offerings, such as subscription-based newsletters," the filing states.

Notably listed in the filing are a number of competing companies, among them some of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges including Coinbase's GDAX offering and Bitstamp.

Looking further, the venture foresees that it will even offer customer cryptocurrencies to clients. In the short-term, however, it intends to focus on a publishing business. Bitzumi has an affiliate deal with investment newsletter service Agora Financial, LLC to "market and sell" a newsletter created by Altucher.

According to the filing, Scot Cohen, an oil and gas industry entrepreneur, will serve as CEO, while David Briones and Glenn Pollack will take the roles of CFO and director, respectively. The firm has registered as a money services business in 50 states, FinCEN indicates.

For more on Altucher's outlook on bitcoin, view our most recent interview here.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Coinbase.

Correction: This article has been updated with comments from Altucher received after publication.

Portrait photo via James Altucher

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