Category Archives: venture capital

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South Korean KT SAT Eying Blockchain for the Satellite Industry

A South Korean satellite operator has expressed an interest in exploring how blockchain could be utilized within the satellite industry.

The company KT SAT boasting 50 years’ experience as Korea’s sole operator plans to bring blockchain and cybersecurity companies together through its new workgroup, the KT SAT Eco Alliance, in order to see where blockchain can be integrated into current satellite tech.

KT SAT provides services using the resources of the group as being a member of KT group. With two satellite launches in 2017, coverage became wider, providing differentiated satellite communication services to its global customers and partners. The company, owned by South Korea-based telecommunications company KT Corporation, is planning events, workshops, and seminar covering IT tech fields such as password security, the blockchain, and maritime satellite communication. KT SAT CEO Han Won-sik says that marketing is another aspect of focus for the company through such activities:

“In order to lead the domestic and global satellite market, we must continue to search for new services through new ICT convergence…we will look for business opportunities that can provide total solutions and platform services.”

Space seems to beckon blockchain. Last month, blockchain firm ConsenSys, which has over 900 employees, acquired Planetary Resources, a partnership which could bring blockchain technology into space “democratizing and decentralizing space endeavors to… unlock untapped human potential.” Planetary Resources, Inc., formerly known as Arkyd Astronautics, is an American company that was formed on 1 January 2009 and reorganized and renamed in 2012. Its stated goal is to “expand Earth’s natural resource base” by developing and deploying the technologies for asteroid mining. ConsenSys Founder and Ethereum Co-Founder Joe Lublin speaking of the acquisition commented::

“Bringing deep space capabilities into the ConsenSys ecosystem reflects our belief in the potential for Ethereum to help humanity craft new societal rule systems through automated trust and guaranteed execution.”

Another company Spacebit Capital has recently launched the world’s first Venture Capital (VC) crypto fund for the space sector with plans to tokenize commercial space missions, moving forward.

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KuCoin Explores Series A Funding, Raising $20 Million Investment

KuCoin has received a funding investment of USD 20 Million during a Series A funding. The cryptocurrency exchange launched in 2017 and currently has over 5 million registered users and supports about 403 trading pairs with a 24-hour trading average of over USD 31.6 million.

It announced that agreements have been reached by three venture capitalists – Matrix Partners, IDG Capital, and Neo Global Capital to invest USD 20 million in the Series A funding round.

The company’s new capital is said by KuCoins executives to be earmarked for investment in KuCoin’s platform 2.0 which is being developed to include improvements such as stop orders and upgraded APIs on the Platform, the release of which has been postponed to the end of Q4.

According to the CEO Michael Gan, this investment would bring about increased customer support, staff support, growth and global expansion into targeted markets including Vietnam, Turkey, Italy, Russia and Spanish-speaking countries, the improvement of its blockchain research, and the upgrade of its already operational blockchain educational system.

In discussing the features of the developing platform, Michael shared that it will be a “dynamic, secure and a malleable trading platform”.

IDG Capital, Matrix Partners, and Neo Global Partners are highly successful firms that have high-valued investments in multiple crypto-related companies.

 

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BitMEX Launches Venture Capital Arm

Seychelles-based BitMEX is launching a venture capital (VC) arm called BitMEX Ventures, which will invest in blockchain and cryptocurrency-related projects worldwide.

BitMEX is the largest cryptocurrency derivatives exchange in the world, with daily volume consistently in excess of USD 1 billion, more than any single spot cryptocurrency exchange. There was a day when BitMEX’s volume hit BTC 1 million Bitcoins, which was USD 8 billion at the time, the all-time record for any cryptocurrency-related exchange. Traders can leverage their accounts up to 100 times and the platform collects millions of dollars in fees per day from trading and margin lending. Already, BitMEX has purchased the most expensive office space in the world; now it appears it will also be using its profits to enrich the crypto space.

Kumar Dandapani will be the Global Head of BitMEX Ventures and Maxim Wheatley will be in charge of global seed funding and partnerships. BitMEX Ventures’ first investment is Blockfolio, an app which manages cryptocurrency portfolios. BitMEX Ventures is preparing to make another investment into FRST, a cryptocurrency data technology company.

The crypto space has been waiting patiently for institutional investors; many experts believe the next big cryptocurrency rally will be sparked by an influx of institutional capital. BitMEX has grown so large that it can be considered an institutional investor and, unlike traditional institutions, it has expertise.

Other cryptocurrency companies that have launched VC arms include Coinbase, which launched in April 2018 and already has 20 companies in its portfolio. Huobi, among the top spot cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, launched Huobi Labs which has dedicated USD 1 billion for investment into blockchain startups. Likewise, Huobi’s primary competitor Binance has launched a USD 1 billion blockchain investment fund.

With the biggest crypto companies seemingly wielding significant strength in investment, the importance of institutional investors – whose funding is anticipated by some to have a huge impact – could be diluted. The potential for an internal positive feedback loop is appearing, where big companies can invest the capital needed to get startups off the ground, then some of those startups might become institutional investors with VC arms, replicating the cycle.

 

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VC Funding for Crypto and Blockchain Records 280% Annual Growth

Venture capital (VC) is fast becoming the new way to invest in blockchain companies outstripping ICOs, according to a new study.

VC investments generally come from hedge funds, private equity firms, or persons of extreme wealth, with the resources to invest funds into start-ups with the hopes of quality returns on the original investment.

The new study conducted by Diar, the weekly institutional publication on digital currency, assets, payments and regulation, suggests that the impetus has clearly shifted with VC companies now pouring their money into projects at a rising rate. VC research platform Pitchbook confirms that within the first nine months of 2018, USD 3.9 billion has been raised for VC blockchain enterprises, a 280% rise on the previous year.

The growing interest by venture capital companies in blockchain projects, juxtaposed against a diminishing number of ICOs, thought to be a result of government intervention and stricter rules being enforced on crypto startups who get their funding from ICOs.

The data also shows that the size of VC investments has gone up with the frequency, with median size of deals increasing over USD 1 million in this year alone, showing that as confidence in the industry grows, so does the preparedness to take a higher element of risk. The most active VC investor with 110 deals related to crypto and blockchain is Digital Currency Group (DCG), followed by Blockchain Capital and Pantera Capital with 100 deals.

On the heels of this latest news, Bitcoin News reported yesterday that South Korea’s largest VC company announced investments in TEMCO, a blockchain solution company for supply chain management built on the EOS network.

Korea Investment Partners (KIP) of Seoul has investments in over 50 companies, 20 private equity funds and a significant roster of partners all over the world. Its investment into TEMCO is of undisclosed value although according to a press release, it claims to be the first ICO funded by “major venture capital”.

In terms of where the new wave of venture capital is going to, reports suggest that the US, UK, and Switzerland top the list.

 

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The Genesis Block – 2013 Mid-Year Bitcoin Review

The Genesis Block – 2013 Mid-Year Bitcoin Review:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://thegenesisblock.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/TGB-Bitcoin-Mid-Year-Review-and-Outlook-4.pdf

This report from The Genesis Block (@TheGenesisBlock) covers the major events from the first half of 2013 and what to look out for in the months ahead.  Excerpts:

“The one outlier in the global bitcoin trading story so far in 2013 has been CNY, with a meteoric rise from near obscurity at 1% in January to more than 6% of global volume at the end of June. This was largely attributable to a brief documentary about bitcoin aired on state-run CCTV.”

“Volatility has presented a number of exceptional arbitrage opportunities for traders. As macro events and news from different exchanges create unique trading dynamics, the price differential across exchanges can become quite significant.”

“As a smallmarket, bitcoin is still heavily influenced by individual micro events, but traders are clearly paying attention to major macro headlines as well.”

“We are also aware of three VC-backed exchanges currently in development.”

“The initial ASICMiner IPO was in August 2012 [raised] over $100,000 for initial ASIC production. As of this writing, shares are trading at 4.25 BTC each, providing initial shareholders a 4,250% return in 8 months and netting IPO investors millions of dollars in gains.”

“The US has unquestionably been the least accommodating with regards to virtual currency regulations. Throughout the rest of the globe, government responses have ranged from deferment to outright encouragement so far this year.”

“We expect more and larger retail players to enter the space, helping the value of the market continue to grow steadily.”

 – http://thegenesisblock.com/bitcoin-mid-year-review-and-outlook
 – http://bit.ly/1aJhEQs (PDF)  (Flash-based PDF Viewer)

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