OMERS Expands Into Cryptocurrency

Ethereum Capital will fund enterprise applications

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Digital Computer ScreenThe Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System is expanding its presence in the cryptocurrency sector with the creation of a new company called Ethereum Capital Inc.

The company’s objective is to become the central business and investment hub for the Ethereum ecosystem, a technology that’s expected to become the backbone for enterprise applications developed using blockchain protocols, according to a news release. The number of transactions on the Ethereum platform has increased significantly over the last year, surpassing all other cryptocurrency networks, and is on track for future growth, the release noted.

“OMERS has been active in the blockchain and crypto sector for several years now,” said John Ruffolo, the chief executive officer of OMERS Ventures and board director for Ethereum Capital. “OMERS believes in the potential of blockchain technologies, and I am thrilled to join a strong network of advisors as Ethereum Capital creates value in the sector.”

Ethereum Capital will be undertaking a private placement to sell 20-million subscription receipts for $2.50 each, and it expects to realize gross proceeds of $50 million pursuant to the offering. The company will also concentrate on acquiring Ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum platform, as well as seeking controlling stakes in companies that use it, the Globe and Mail reported.

Along with OMERS, the company’s creators include Toronto-based Purpose Investments Inc., Ethereum liquidity company Citizen Hex Inc. and blockchain startup incubator L4 Ventures.

Ruffolo told the Globe and Mail he believes Ethereum will become one of the “foundational building blocks” in the blockchain area, noting OMERS is focusing more on investing in cryptocurrency assets than the the currencies themselves.

This article appeared on our companion publication, BenefitsCanada.com

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