Visa Inc. and Paypal have invested in Blockchain Capital’s new fund. The venture capital firm focuses exclusively on the crypto ecosystem and blockchain technology.
Blockchain Capital announced Tuesday that it has raised $300 million for its 5th venture capital fund (Fund V).
Paypal and Visa were among the investors. Others include pension funds, major university endowments, and family offices from around the world, the company said, adding that select investors, including Paypal and Visa, will participate in its strategic partnership program.
Blockchain Capital described itself as “the first venture capital firm founded to focus exclusively on blockchain technology and the crypto ecosystem.” The firm has invested in more than 110 companies, protocols, and crypto-assets across the ecosystem since its inception in 2013. Its portfolio includes major crypto companies such as Coinbase, Kraken, Anchorage, and Opensea. In addition, it includes Defi players: Aave, Nexus Mutual, and UMA.
It is also one of older and larger crypto-native venture capital firms with over $1.5 billion under management, General Partner Spencer Bogart told CoinDesk. He said the firm’s fifth fund also received backing from pension funds and university endowments but declined to name additional LPs.
By Bogart’s telling, the payments giants are hungry for bolder investment opportunities across an industry they believe in but need the help of a “field guide” to fully navigate.
“There’s nothing better than walking an early-stage startup into the likes of a Visa or PayPal and helping them secure a commercial agreement, and helping make sure that on Visa and PayPal’s side, they have solutions for the products that they want to launch,” he said.
Jose Fernandez da Ponte, Paypal’s vice president and general manager of blockchain, crypto and digital currencies, commented: “Paypal is committed to fostering an ecosystem of companies making digital currencies more accessible, useful and secure. Investing in Blockchain Capital’s new fund allows us to engage with the entrepreneurs driving the future of the decentralized economy and the new wave of financial services.”
Paypal has been offering a crypto service since late last year. CEO Dan Schulman said in the first quarter that the company’s crypto business showed “really great results” and demand for cryptocurrencies was “multiple-fold” the company’s initial expectations. The payments giant said last month that it will allow withdrawals of cryptocurrencies to third-party wallets.
Visa has also been working on some crypto projects. Last month, CEO Al Kelly outlined five key areas in the crypto space the company is working on. He said, “Our focus is on five different opportunities that we see in this space. And I would say that this is a space that we are leaning into in a very, very big way and I think are extremely well-positioned.”
Regarding Visa’s investment in Blockchain Capital’s fund, Vasant Prabhu, Visa Inc.’s chief financial officer, opined:
We’re focused on enhancing all forms of money movement, whether on the Visa network or beyond. Through our relationship with Blockchain Capital, we are deepening our efforts to shape and support the role that digital currencies play in the future.
Bitcoin is a Better Inflation Hedge Than Gold: deVere CEO
The Bitcoin rally stalled on heightening global worries about inflation, but, says the CEO of one of the world’s leading financial advisory, asset management and fintech firms, it remains “a better shield than gold.”
The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization ended three consecutive days of healthy gains, before stabilizing, after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday it may be time to stop using the term “transitory” as a way of describing the current wave of inflation.
Meanwhile, inflation in Europe has ballooned to the highest on record.
Mr Green says: “Bitcoin is perceived by many investors as a hedge against inflation due largely to its strict supply controls.
“As such, it would be assumed that its price would automatically rise when the U.S. central bank suggests that it would consider speeding up the reduction of its asset purchase policies that have boosted the stock markets.
“But for other investors, including some major institutional investors who have piled into Bitcoin in recent months, the cryptocurrency is still perceived as a risky asset.
“So when they sell-off riskier assets, despite the longer-term outlook and based on short-term hawkish policies from the world’s de facto central bank, Bitcoin, like equities, also becomes vulnerable.”
A long-term, high-profile crypto advocate, Mr Green remains confident that “Bitcoin is today a greater inflation shield than gold”, which has long been the standard go-to inflation hedge.
He says: “Gold has always been regarded as the ultimate inflation hedge – but the world is a much different place now. Our lives and the global economy is increasingly run on tech and digital solutions and this megatrend is only set to become more dominant.
“Gold is likely to be dethroned within a generation as millennials and younger investors, who are so-called ‘digital natives’, are going to be more comfortable with Bitcoin as a hedge than a physical metal.”
The deVere CEO goes on to say: “Bitcoin is often referred to as ‘digital gold’ because like the precious metal it is a medium of exchange, a unit of account, non-sovereign, decentralized, scarce, and a store of value.
“Yet, the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is superior to gold as a medium of exchange or form of payment.
“Unlike gold, it is a fixed unit of account and easily divisible and transportable. Gold is not easily immediately divisible, and there are potential issues with purity and verification. Whereas Bitcoin is easily traced on blockchain technology and this is going to be a considerable advantage, especially in cross-border transactions.”
Mr Green concludes: “Gold and Bitcoin can, and perhaps should, complement each other in a portfolio.
“But as the world continues to pick up momentum in its shift towards tech, and as millennials become a more dominant part of the world economy, we should expect Bitcoin to also take an increasingly influential role in financial markets, including in regards to being an inflation hedge.”
MicroStrategy Adds 7,002 Bitcoin to Portfolio
Yet again MicroStrategy, an Amereican business intelligence company has purchased an additional 7,002 Bitcoin worth $414.4 million to its digital asset portfolio, summing its total bitcoin asset to $3.57 billion.
The CEO of MicroStrategy, Michael Saylor made the purchase announcement on Monday via a Twitter post.
He tweeted, “MicroStrategy has purchased an additional 7,002 bitcoins for ~$414.4 million in cash at an average price of ~$59,187 per #bitcoin. As of 11/29/21 we #hodl ~121,044 bitcoins acquired for ~$3.57 billion at an average price of ~$29,534 per bitcoin”.
MicroStrategy currently owns 121,044 BTC valued at $3.57 billion that were acquired at an average price of $29,534 per bitcoin.
At the time of writing, data from Kucoin shows that Bitcoin is trading at $56,490 per coin. This implies that Microstrategy’s total bitcoin asset is worth over $6.8 billion.
On Friday, Saylor tweeted, “Bitcoin offers better inflation protection than gold and is growing faster than big tech.”
Saylor believed that Bitcoin (BTC) “is the only property you can truly own, as well as the first technology capable of granting property rights to everyone on earth and In time, we will come to understand that it is concentrated energy in digital form and critical to the progression of our civilization.”
Despite some countries showing little to no adoption to digital assets, Saylor believed that Bitcoin has a potential to become a $100 trillion asset class. He said “digital gold is going to replace gold this decade.”
The MicroStrategy CEO further said the company is not troubled with the ongoing discussion on crypto regulation, noting that it will affect security tokens, decentralized finance (defi) exchanges, crypto exchanges, and other use cases of cryptocurrency that are not bitcoin. In his opinion, “bitcoin is unstoppable as digital property.”
IMF Discourages the Use of Bitcoin as Legal Tender
Global financial body, the International Monetary Fund has informed the public that bitcoin constitutes a high risk to consumers.
In giving this warning, the Monetary Fund made a reference to El Salvador’s recently announced plan to make the coin a legal tender, as the country sets plans to erupt a Bitcoin City which is funded by cryptocurrencies.
On Monday, the IMF released a statement where it referred to the decision made by El Salvador to make bitcoin a legal tender as risky. This was said in spite of the Fund’s admission that cryptocurrencies and other digital forms of money possess the potential to make payment systems much more efficient.
According to the financial body, bitcoin’s high rate volatility means its use as a legal tender opens up serious risks to financial integrity, consumer protection and financial stability. The body then encouraged the strengthening of the supervision and regulation of the new payment system.
In September 2020, El Salvador passed a law that granted bitcoin the status of an official legal tender side by side with the US dollar. This made El Salvador the first country in the world to recognize cryptocurrency officially.
Since then, El Salvador’s government has supported an e-wallet system known as Chivo, which allows El Salvador residents to engage in payments with bitcoin and convert the cryptocurrency to US dollars.
The financial body recognized the benefits of the system, which could augment financial inclusion, while supporting financial growth. The body however called for more legal defences for consumers, to protect them while countering money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
This warning arrived merely days after El Salvador revealed its plans to build the world’s very first ‘Bitcoin City’ which will receive its initial funding from bonds backed by cryptocurrencies. The city will contain commercial and residential areas, airports, restaurants, entertainment venues, and other amenities which are common to a metropolis.
It is still in the conceptual stage but the first bond offering is set for 2022, with construction to begin about two months after financing has been secured for the construction.
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