The 10 biggest risk rounds in crypto and blockchain

The cryptocurrency industry is very hot. The total market value of cryptocurrencies is approaching $ 2 trillion, that’s bigger than the market capitalizations of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. Bitcoin has been trading above $ 50,000 since March 8 and has a market value of $ 1.12 trillion, almost as much as all the silver in the world. FOMO-ed institutions keep coming into space. Tesla will begin accepting payments for its electric vehicles in bitcoin, adding the cryptocurrency to its $ 2.5 billion bitcoin hoard. One of America’s oldest banks, BNY Mellon, has launched a digital asset unit, Goldman Sachs has relaunched its crypto trading operations, JPMorgan has introduced a structured note offering tied to a basket of stocks with exposure to bitcoin , Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. they have become the first major American banks to offer their wealthy clients direct access to bitcoins.

But the venture institutions and companies that are rushing to cash in on the increase don’t come empty-handed. Capital accumulations are spilling over onto crypto startups, minting new unicorns at a breakneck rate. In March alone, three crypto firms raised some of the largest capital increases in the short but rich history of the industry. There are now at least 18 crypto-native companies with unicorn status, according to data platform PitchBook.

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At the heyday of ICOs, companies raised billions, but the hype was short-lived. Low-quality projects, multiple scams, and a lack of institutional and regulatory oversight led to what is now known as the Great Crypto Crash of 2018, when an index tracking the performance of the 10 largest and most liquid digital assets plunged. by 80%. .

Crypto bulls hope this time will really be different. Publicly traded companies such as MicroStrategy and Square have accumulated considerable positions in bitcoin on their balance sheets and see it as an alternative to gold. Meanwhile, applications for a US bitcoin ETF are piling up at the SEC’s door and the market is buzzing in anticipation of Coinbase’s direct listing scheduled for April 14, the first major public offering for a cryptocurrency company. In the midst of the frenzy Forbes analyzed data from PitchBook and compiled a list of the top 10 venture capital offerings for blockchain and crypto-native companies.

Bitmain: $ 422 million

Trading date: August 7, 2018

Round VC: B1 series

Notable investors: Crimson Capital China, Bluebell (Asia), Jumbo Sheen Group, Lioness Capital, Palace Investment Company, Pavilion Capital

Post-money valuation: $ 15 billion

Previous rating: $ 12 billion

Bitmain, the world’s leading manufacturer of bitcoin mining hardware, also operates Antpool, one of the leading bitcoin mining pools, which accounts for more than 12% of the bitcoin network’s hash, or computing power. Shortly after the $ 422 million capital increase, the Beijing-based company applied for an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in September 2018, but the offering failed amid the bitcoin crash and cooling of the market. market.

BlockFi: $ 350 million

Trading date: March 11, 2021

Round VC: D series

Notable investors: Bain Capital Ventures, DST Global Partners, Pomp Investments, Tiger Global, Susquehanna Government Products

Post-money valuation: $ 3 billion

Previous rating: $ 435 million

Founded in 2017, New Jersey-based BlockFi is now one of the top cryptocurrency loan providers. Its products span multiple categories, including crypto secured loans and interest-bearing accounts through which investors can earn interest on their cryptocurrency holdings. Rumors about BlockFi’s possible IPO began circulating last July following reports of a job opportunity, part of which involved helping the company go public.

Dapper Labs: $ 305 million

Trading date: March 30, 2021

Round VC: 5th round

Notable investors: Management of Coatue, Andreessen Horowitz, Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant

Post-money valuation: $ 2.6 billion

Previous rating: N / A

The Vancouver-based startup is best known as the developer of NBA Top Shot, an NFT marketplace for basketball highlights or “moments.” The project, which has already passed the $ 400 million mark in trading volume, is largely responsible for the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), essentially traceable digital proof of ownership on a blockchain. Previously, Dapper Labs developed a popular Ethereum game of playable collectibles called CryptoKitties. $ 300 million

Trading date: March 24, 2021

Round VC: C series

Notable investors: DST Global, Lightspeed Venture Partners, VY Capital

Post-money valuation: $ 5.2 billion

Previous rating: $ 3 billion offers a variety of crypto services to retail and institutional clients, but is most famous for its non-custodial digital wallets. Unlike their third-party controlled counterparts, these wallets give users full control over their private keys that represent ownership of crypto assets. The London-based company claims that it has processed 28% of all bitcoin transactions since 2012.

Bakkt: $ 300 million

Trading date: March 16, 2020

Round VC: B series

Notable investors: Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), BCG Digital Ventures, PayU

Post-money valuation: N / A

Previous rating: N / A

In February 2020, the crypto company ICE (the owner of the New York Stock Exchange) announced the acquisition of Loyalty Program provider Bridge2 Solutions to power Bakkt’s one-stop shop retail platform. Called Bakkt App, the service allows users to add various digital assets, including loyalty points, rewards programs, game assets, and cryptocurrencies, all in a single wallet. In January, Bakkt announced that it will go public through a merger of SPAC with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings for an enterprise value of approximately $ 2.1 billion. Following the closing of the deal in the second quarter of 2021, the combined company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange as Bakkt Holdings, Inc.

Coinbase: $ 300 million

Trading date: Oct 30, 2018

Round VC: E series

Notable investors: Tiger Global Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), Polychain Capital

Post-money valuation: $ 8.04 billion

Previous rating: $ 1.71 billion

On February 25, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US applied for a direct listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Coinbase was valued at $ 68 billion, according to recent filings. On March 19, the company was fined $ 6.5 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for allegations of reporting false transactions and laundering operations between 2015 and 2018 on its GDAX platform, later renamed Coinbase. Pro. The exchange’s direct listing is scheduled for April 14.

Bitmain: $ 292.7 million

Trading date: June 19, 2018

Round VC: B series

Notable investors: Sequoia Capital, Coatue Management, China Taijia, Blue Lighthouse Services

Post-money valuation: $ 12 billion

Previous rating: $ 100 million

Hangzhou Qulian Technology: $ 235 million

Trading date: June 4, 2018

Round VC: B series

Notable investors: Xinhu Zhongbao Company, China Gaoxin Investment Group, State Development and Investment Corporation

Post-money valuation: $ 470.25 million

Previous rating: $ 40.33 million

Qulian Technology provides blockchain products for China’s leading organizations and institutions, including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State Administration for Market Regulation, the State Network, and local governments. Its one-stop-shop blockchain open service BaaS platform, FiLoop, is used by some of China’s largest banks, including China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and China Merchants Bank, according to the company. Qulian Technology partners also include Google and Microsoft.

Bithumb: $ 200 million

Trading date: April 19, 2019

Round VC: 2nd round

Notable investors: Seer, ID Ventures (South Korea), ST Blockchain Fund

Post-money valuation: N / A, valued at $ 888.27 million as of January 2021

Previous rating: $ 868.42 million

In September 2020, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency reportedly raided the offices of one of South Korea’s largest crypto exchanges on allegations of fraud, linked to a $ 25 million token sale that never materialized and it caused losses for investors.

Ripple Labs: $ 200 million

Trading date: Oct 1, 2020

Round VC: C series

Notable investors: Tetragon Financial Group, SBI Holdings, Transform Capital, 10X Capital

Post-money valuation: $ 10 billion

Previous rating: $ 410 million (2016)

In December, Ripple Labs and its top executives were accused by the US Securities and Exchange Commission of selling $ 1.3 billion of XRP, the native asset of the company’s-developed payments network, as a security. not registered. Following the charges, multiple exchanges and trading platforms, including Coinbase, Binance.US, and eToro, delisted XRP and suspended their operations. In January, UK-based investment firm Tetragon Financial Group filed a lawsuit to redeem its capital in Ripple, but ultimately lost the case. Despite the fallout, XRP remains one of the most traded digital assets.


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