The cryptocurrency industry is booming. The total market value of cryptocurrencies approaching $ 2 trillion – it is more important 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 money in the world. FOMO-ed institutions continue to flow into space. Tesla will begin accepting payments for its electric vehicles in bitcoin, adding the cryptocurrency to its $ 2.5 billion bitcoin treasury. One of America’s oldest banks, BNY Mellon, launched a digital asset unit, Goldman Sachs relaunched its crypto trading operations, JPMorgan introduced a structured note offering linked to a basket of stocks exposed to the bitcoin, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs became the first major U.S. banks to offer their high net worth clients direct access to bitcoin.
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But the institutions and venture capitalists rushing to profit from the surge did not come empty-handed. Hordes of capital are pouring into crypto startups, hitting new unicorns at a breakneck rate. Just in March, three crypto firms raised some of the biggest capital increases in the industry’s short but rich history. According to the PitchBook data platform, at least 18 crypto-native companies have unicorn status.
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At the height of ICOs, companies have raised billions but the hype was short lived. Poor quality projects, multiple scams, and lack of institutional and regulatory oversight led to what is now known as the Great Crypto Crash of 2018, when a index that tracks the performance of the 10 largest and most liquid digital assets 80% plunged.
Crypto bulls are hoping this time is really different. Listed companies like MicroStrategy and Square have built up significant bitcoin positions on their balance sheets and see it as an alternative to gold. Meanwhile, demands for a US bitcoin ETF are piling up at the gates of the SEC and the market is buzzing in anticipation of Coinbases direct listing slated 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 10 largest venture capital transactions for blockchain and crypto-native companies.
Bitmain: $ 422 million
Date of transaction: August 7, 2018
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VC Tower: B1 series
Notable investors: Crimson Capital China, Bluebell (Asia), Jumbo Sheen Group, Lioness Capital, Palace Investment Company, Pavilion Capital
Post-monetary assessment: $ 15 billion
Previous rating: $ 12 billion
The world’s leading maker of bitcoin mining hardware, Bitmain also operates Antpool, one of the leading Bitcoin mining pools, representing more than 12% of bitcoin network hash or computing power. Shortly after the $ 422 million capital increase, the Beijing-based company filed for an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in September 2018, but the offer failed in the middle of the bitcoin collapse and market recharge time.
BlockFi: $ 350 million
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Date of transaction: March 11, 2021
VC Tower: D series
Notable investors: Bain Capital Ventures, partners of DST Global, Pomp Investments, Tiger Global, Susquehanna Government Products
Post-monetary assessment: $ 3 billion
Previous rating: $ 435 million
Founded in 2017, New Jersey-based BlockFi is now a leading provider of cryptocurrency lending. Its products cover several categories, including crypto-secured loans and interest-bearing accounts through which investors can earn interest on their crypto holdings. Rumors of a potential BlockFis IPO started circulating last July following reports on a job posting, part of which was to help the company go public.
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Dapper Labs: $ 305 million
Date of transaction: March 30, 2021
VC Tower: 5th round
Notable investors: Management of Coatue, Andreessen Horowitz, Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant
Post-monetary assessment: $ 2.6 billion
Previous rating: N / A
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The Vancouver-based startup is best known as the developer of NBA Top Shot, an NFT marketplace for moments or highlights of basketball videos. The project, which has already broke the $ 400 million mark in trading volume, is largely responsible for the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), essentially digital proof of ownership traceable on a blockchain. Previously, Dapper Labs had developed a popular Ethereum set of repeatable collectibles called CryptoKitties.
Blockchain.com: $ 300 million
Date of transaction: March 24, 2021
VC Tower: C series
Notable investors: DST Global, Lightspeed Venture Partners, VY Capital
Post-monetary assessment: $ 5.2 billion
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Previous rating: $ 3 billion
Blockchain.com provides a variety of crypto services to retail and institutional clients, but is best known for its non-custodial digital wallets. Unlike its third-party controlled counterparts, these wallets give users full control over their private keys which represent the ownership of crypto assets. The London-based company claims it has processed 28% of all Bitcoin transactions since 2012.
Bakkt: $ 300 million
Date of transaction: March 16, 2020
VC Tower: B series
Notable investors: Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), BCG Digital Ventures, PayU
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Post-monetary assessment: N / A
Previous rating: N / A
In February 2020, the crypto-company of ICE (the owner of the New York Stock Exchange) announced the acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions, a loyalty program provider, to power the one-stop retail platform Bakkts. . Called the Bakkt App, the service allows users to aggregate various digital assets, including loyalty points, rewards programs, gaming assets, and cryptocurrencies, all in a single wallet. In January, Bakkt announced its IPO through a PSPC merger with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings for an enterprise value of approximately $ 2.1 billion. Upon closing of transactions 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
Date of transaction: October 30, 2018
VC Tower: E series
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Notable investors: Tiger Global Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), Polychain Capital
Post-monetary assessment: $ 8.04 billion
Previous rating: $ 1.71 billion
On February 25, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States filed for direct listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Coinbase was valued at $ 68 billion, based on the recent deposits. On March 19, the company was fined $ 6.5 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for allegations of false reporting of trades and wash trades between 2015 and 2018 on its platform GDAX, later renamed Coinbase Pro. Direct stock exchange listing is scheduled for April 14.
Bitmain: $ 292.7 million
Date of transaction: June 19, 2018
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VC Tower: B series
Notable investors: Sequoia Capital, Coatue Management, China Taijia, Blue Lighthouse Services
Post-monetary assessment: $ 12 billion
Previous rating: $ 100 million
Hangzhou Qulian Technology: $ 235 million
Date of transaction: June 4, 2018
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VC Tower: B series
Notable investors: Xinhu Zhongbao Company, China Gaoxin Investment Group, State Development and Investment Corporation
Post-monetary assessment: $ 470.25 million
Previous rating: $ 40.33 million
Qulian Technology provides blockchain products to major Chinese organizations and institutions, including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, State Administration for Market Regulation, national 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 Technologys partners also include Google and Microsoft.
Bithumb: $ 200 million
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Date of transaction: April 19, 2019
VC Tower: 2nd round
Notable investors: Vidente, ID Ventures (South Korea), ST Blockchain Fund
Post-monetary assessment: N / A, valued at $ 888.27 million as of January 2021
Previous rating: $ 868.42 million
In September 2020, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency would have broke into the offices of one of South Korea’s largest crypto exchanges over allegations of fraud, related to a $ 25 million token sale that never materialized and resulted in losses for them investors.
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Ripple Labs: $ 200 million
Date of transaction: October 1, 2020
VC Tower: C series
Notable investors: Tetragon Financial Group, SBI Holdings, Transform Capital, 10X Capital
Post-monetary assessment: 10 billion dollars
Previous rating: $ 410 million (2016)
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In December, Ripple Labs and its executives were accused by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission of selling $ 1.3 billion worth of XRP, the native asset of the payment network developed by the company, as a unregistered security. Following the accusations, several exchanges and trading platforms, including Coinbase, Binance.US, and eToro, have removed XRP from the list and suspended its trading. In January, the British investment firm Tetragon Financial Group filed a complaint to buy back its equity in Ripple, but ultimately lost the deal. Despite the fallout, XRP remains one of the most traded digital assets.
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