Blockchain company Vanbex Labs sells products to Hyperion amid legal strife


Vanbex Labs, a Vancouver-based blockchain solutions company, has sold two of its products to Hyperion Technologies, a Toronto-based cryptocurrency platform. The prices of the acquisitions were not disclosed.

“It has certainly been a tumultuous year in the blockchain industry and we are excited that Rocket and CryptoTaxes will be represented and valued.”

The two products acquired by Hyperion includes Rocket, a solution Vanbex says launches security tokens using smart contracts and enables the creation, deployment, and issuance of various forms of digital assets. CryptoTaxes, the other product acquired by Hyperion, is a simplified tax solution developed for cryptocurrency traders. Vanbex Group will continue to operate as a blockchain consulting company with a focus on supporting Hyperion from its offices in Vancouver.

“This acquisition allows the value of the products and the business models they represent to continue under Hyperion’s banner and we are thrilled to see Rocket and CryptoTaxes reach their potential this way,” said Lisa Cheng, founder of Vanbex. “It has certainly been a tumultuous year in the blockchain industry and we are excited that Rocket and CryptoTaxes will be represented and valued for the compelling solutions that they are.”

The sale comes as Vanbex and its two founders, Cheng and Kevin Hobbs, face a number of lawsuits and investigations, in part over an allegedly fraudulent 2017 initial coin offering of its Fuel token, which totalled about $22 million USD. The company has also raised a $500,000 seed round, which closed in 2017.

A civil forfeiture action filed in BC’s Supreme Court alleges that Cheng and Hobbs misappropriated the funds and failed to deliver products to investors. According to CoinDesk, in March, Canadian police froze personal assets of Hobbs and Cheng. The RCMP began its investigation into Vanbex in May 2018 and the Canadian Revenue Agency began a tax probe soon after.

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The digital asset that will link the Rocket and CryptoTaxes solutions with Hyperion’s systems will be the Fuel token. Fuel will continue to operate as a utility-based cryptocurrency to pay for transaction fees, API integrations, and services provided in the digital asset ecosystem between Hyperion and Vanbex’s blockchain technology products.

According to CoinDesk, Vanbex told investors that Fuel would be functional in a future smart contract system called Etherparty, and that the value of the Fuel token would increase significantly. However, Fuel’s value has fallen since its ICO by more than 90 percent, according to Business in Vancouver.

Since Vanbex’s founding, either the company or its founders have been probed by at least six agencies including the Civil Forfeiture Office, BC Lottery Corp., and Fintrac. Two former clients, StoAmigo and Elev3n, have also filed suits against Vanbex, claiming the company did not provide products and services that had been paid for.

“Hyperion has always focused on growth-to-value for its clients, investors, and stakeholders,” said Michael Zavet, CEO of Hyperion, regarding the recent acquisition. “Acquiring Rocket and CryptoTaxes was a strategic move enabling us to focus on a larger market share, which we are very excited about.”

Image courtesy VanBex

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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