You’ve no doubt heard the expression, follow the money. Well, if you do that in the venture capital world, you’ll be led directly to crypto, blockchain and digital assets. After a modest summertime lull in venture financing, this week saw the announcement of two massive raises worth a combined $500 million. That’s $500 million VCs are allocating to crypto-focused startups at the intersection of Web3, blockchain infrastructure and decentralized communities.
If you think funding deals have stopped amid the bear market, think again. I mentioned “summertime lull” at the outset, but that doesn’t mean funding has stopped. There are so many deals, in fact, that I’ve had to start a separate series called VC Roundup just to keep track. Data from Cointelegraph Research also shows that Q2 funding deals were just as big as the first quarter in dollar terms.
This week’s Crypto Biz looks at the latest funding news from the world of blockchain.
CoinFund launches $300M early-stage Web3 venture fund
Venture firm CoinFund has launched a new investment fund devoted to all things crypto. The newly launched CoinFund Ventures 1 will invest $300 million into early-stage companies innovating in the blockchain arena, with a key focus on Web3. CoinFund raised $83 million during the bull market in 2021. Its latest deal is more than three times that amount — and it was raised during the depths of crypto winter. That tells us venture capitalists probably believe the market has already bottomed or is in the process of doing so.
Blockchain VC Shima Capital debuts with $200M Web3 fund
Shima Capital, a venture firm founded by hedge fund investor Yida Gao, has debuted with a $200 million investment fund targeting startups from across the blockchain ecosystem. Shima Capital Fund I, which is backed by Dragonfly Capital, Animoca Brands and OKX, is set to deploy up to $2 million in pre-seed funding to promising startups and innovators. Some of the most promising themes Shima has identified include decentralized identity, decentralized social media, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and blockchain gaming, among others.
Web3 aims to revolutionize participation in a wide variety of fields, from technology to the arts. However, it needs those participants to see what its potential holds, argues @nitingaur, founder and director of @IBM Digital Asset Labs https://t.co/ThiJmisXPS
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) March 13, 2022
Samsung revealed as most active investor in blockchain since September
It’s not just crypto-focused VCs that are invested in blockchain; some of the world’s largest companies are also backing startups at the intersection of Web3 gaming, Bitcoin (BTC) infrastructure solutions and digital asset custody. According to Blockdata, Samsung is the most active player in this space, having invested in 13 blockchain companies already. Google-parent Alphabet has made strategic investments in Fireblocks, Dapper Labs, Voltage and Digital Currency Group. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley has thrown its weight behind Figment and New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG). And people still think this blockchain stuff is just a fad?
Former JPMorgan, Barclays execs on why crypto jobs attractive even in bear market
There’s no stopping crypto — not even a bear market. Executives from traditional finance are still being lured into careers in digital assets despite the massive FUD campaign against the industry. Case in point: European crypto exchange-traded fund provider 21Shares recently announced three significant hires as part of its expansion into France, Germany and the United Arab Emirates. Two of the hires were former executives from JPMorgan and Barclays — you’ll want to read about why they’re so excited to join an industry that has lost two-thirds of its market capitalization over the past year.
Don’t miss it! Is Bitcoin a better inflation hedge than gold?
Bitcoin has been described by many as “digital gold,” forging a new frontier in inflation hedge economics. If inflation is your primary concern, are you better off holding Bitcoin or a precious metal with a 5,000-year track record? Cointelegraph sat down with Swan Bitcoin managing director Steven Lubka to discuss whether BTC’s inflation-hedge thesis still has merit. You can watch the full interview below.
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