Zhenya Tsvetnenko. Picture: John Koh/The West Australian.
Zhenya Tsvetnenko. Picture: John Koh/The West Australian.

Perth-based, Russian-born tech multi-millionaire Zhenya Tsvetnenko will make his ASX debut through a backdoor listing of his new bitcoin mining and digital currency trading company, digitalBTC.

Mr Tsvetnenko, who made his fortune through mobile premium messaging services, will take over as executive chairman of the new entity.

ASX-listed shell company Macro Energy says it has already received firm commitments for a $9.1 million capital raising to effect the transaction and expand digitalBTC's bitcoin trading and digital currency mobile applications.

Mr Tsvetnenko, who made his debut on the BRW Young Rich List in 2009 with an estimated net worth of $107 million, said bitcoin was an exciting and fast emerging currency system which he believed would dramatically change the way in which many people would make payments or financial transfers.

"As the Bitcoin system matures beyond its initial niche and begins to realise its true disruptive potential, sophisticated service firms will be increasingly required to facilitate the system," he said.

"We believe that sophisticated intermediaries such as digitalBTC can derive significant profit in supporting this emerging growth phase of Bitcoin, as it takes its place as a true worldwide currency.

"We are pleased to have reached the acquisition deal with Macro, which will give us the platform and capital to take our support of and growth with the Bitcoin system to the next level, as well as offering public market investors one of the first opportunities to participate in the potential upside inherent in Bitcoin."

Mr Tsvetnenko said the company would also be involved in other emerging digital currencies.

The new entity is being touted as the first ASX-listed company offering exposure to the Bitcoin system.

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment system and digital currency, with a total market capitalisation of more than $US8 billion and about 66,000 transactions occurring daily at a total trade value of $US55 million.

Across the major US Bitcoin exchanges, in excess of $US20 million is regularly traded every 24 hours with more than 44,000 merchants accepting Bitcoin around the world.

However the online currency is considered a shadowy development in the online world by critics for its regular use in the trade of illegal goods such as drugs and weapons.

Governments are yet to fully grapple with how bitcoin trades can be controlled and monitored and regulations surrounding its use are still a long way off.

Last month, Japan-based bitcoin trading company Mt Gox collapsed, announcing about 850,000 bitcoins (worth about $450 million) belonging to customers and the company were missing and likely stolen.

However Macro Energy managing director Brett Lawrence said digitalBTC offered existing Macro shareholders significant potential upside in a fast growing and revolutionary sector.

Macro will change its name to DigitalCC Limited and conduct a share consolidation as part of the deal, subject to shareholder approval.

Following completion of the transaction, the new entity will have an implied pro-forma market capitalisation of $33.2 million, with approximately $12.4 million in cash on-hand and an enterprise value of $20.8 million.

Macro Energy shares were up 1.4 cents, or 54 per cent, to four cents at 8.50am.

The West Australian

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