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.
BTC Gains 15 Percent In 3 Hours Amid Tight Squeeze
The price of Bitcoin has surged more than 10 percent in just a few hours earlier today, with prices quickly surging from roughly $35,000 to tag just shy of $40,000 on July 26.
Price action shows a violent short squeeze that occurred as prices broke above $35,000, with bullish momentum suddenly accelerating as prices quickly rallied 15 percent from roughly $34,000 to $39,800 over the course of fewer than three hours.
By contrast, BTC had taken the past five days to gain from roughly $30,000 to $34,000. As of this writing, Bitcoin is changing hands for roughly $38,500.
According to CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin is the top gainer for the past 24 hours among the top 30 crypto assets by capitalization, posting a gain of nearly 13 percent.
The sudden rally has seen numerous technical indicators return to offering bullish signals, popular analyst, Lark Davis, informing his 426,000 followers that BTC’s price is again trending above its 50-day moving average.
Polkadot and Chainlink are also among the day’s top gainers, each having increased by more than 10 percent in the past 24 hours.
With Dogecoin up by 11.83 percent for the day, it would appear the impact of Elon Musk’s Twitter account on the meme-coin’s markets is beginning to wane, with Tesla’s CEO posting a meme asserting that “Dogecoin is money” on July 25.
Despite Musk’s efforts, Dogecoin appears to have moved in lock-step with the broader altcoin markets, with most large-cap crypto assets having posted high single-digit gains for the day.
Despite next month’s fast-approaching London upgrades for Ethereum, Ether is also lagging behind the pack, posting a gain of 7.82 percent in the past 24 hours.
As such, ETH is the weakest-performing cryptocurrency ranked among the top 10 by capitalization for the past day.
Bitcoin Will Hit All-time Highs Again This Year, Crypto is Inevitable Future: deVere CEO
Bitcoin will hit its previous all-time highs again by the end of the year with prices driven higher by the “carefully considered arguments” and “new measured tone” being put forward by the likes of Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey and Cathie Wood, affirms the CEO of deVere Group.
The bullish Bitcoin price prediction from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations, follows Wednesday’s The B Word Conference.
At the live virtual event, Tesla and Space X founder Elon Musk, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, and Ark Investment’s Cathie Wood all advocated for the cryptocurrency and talked about its massive future potential.
Bitcoin surged as much as 10% on the back of their comments.
Nigel Green says: “Musk, Dorsey and Wood are three of the most important and forward-thinking business leaders of our time. What they say matters.
“Crucially, the tone was less sensationalist than it has been in past, with all the panelists putting across carefully considered, fact-based arguments about why they are all bullish on the future of Bitcoin and crypto generally.
“This will not have gone unnoticed by investors.
“As such, I believe that with these hugely influential figures pursuing this stance and this new tone, we can expect the price of Bitcoin to hit, or even surpass, its mid-April all-time high of $65,000 by the end of 2021.”
Demand will boom because of what Musk, Dorsey and Wood said for two main reasons, says Mr Green.
“First, both institutional and retail investors were given a considerable crypto confidence boost by comments the panelists made about their own multinational businesses and their visions for the future.
“Musk, one of the world’s most successful and richest entrepreneurs, confirmed for the first time that both of his companies, Tesla and Space X, and that he personally, owned Bitcoin. And that neither he nor his companies, will sell the cryptocurrency. He also revealed Tesla is likely to restart taking payments in Bitcoin.
“Similarly, Dorsey hinted that Twitter will soon allow advertisers to pay for advertising on the giant social platform in crypto.
“He went on to say the cryptocurrency could function as the internet’s ‘native currency’ and this would help all businesses in a much faster way.
“Second, Dorsey and Wood – and Musk to a lesser degree – addressed the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining, an issue which has weighed heavy on the price in recent months.”
Wood, in particular, spoke about how Bitcoin aligns with the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing growth trend.
She highlighted how Bitcoin “will be much more environmentally friendly—certainly more than traditional gold mining or the traditional financial services sector. In many ways, it already is.”
She added that Bitcoin has much to offer in the ‘social’ bracket “by providing financially underserved people with “access to payment technology… everywhere around the world without friction”; and the ‘governance’ bracket by offering transparency “unlike the opaqueness of financial systems and the toll-takers in the traditional financial world.”
The deVere CEO affirms: “All of this will help drive Bitcoin prices higher and this will have a knock-on effect to the wider crypto market.”
He concludes: “The message from mega-influencers Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey and Cathie Wood was clear: crypto is the inevitable future.”
Athena Bitcoin to Install 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador as BTC Becomes Legal Tender
Bitcoin ATM operator Athena Bitcoin has unveiled its plan to install 1,500 bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador. The company will install dozens of machines as a test.
On Thursday, Athena Bitcoin said that it plans to invest over $1 million to install cryptocurrency ATMs in El Salvador, particularly where residents receive remittances from abroad, Reuters reported, citing a company representative.
The firm expects to gradually install about 1,500 ATMs, hire staff and open an office to carry out operations in El Salvador.
Matias Goldenhörn, Athena Bitcoin’s director for Latin America, was quoted by the publication as saying that El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele “presented us with a tough challenge of 1,500 ATMs, we will go for that, but in phases.”
“We are a private company and we want to ensure that our development in the country is sustainable,” Goldenhörn added, elaborating: “Initially we are going to bring dozens of machines, test what the business model is like in El Salvador, which will probably be different than in the United States.”
Athena Bitcoin installed its first cryptocurrency ATM in El Salvador’s El Zonte beach about a year ago. It was part of an experiment called Bitcoin Beach with the aim to make the town one of the world’s first bitcoin economies.
El Salvador passed a bill making bitcoin legal tender earlier this month. The law will go into effect on Sept. 7. President Bukele unveiled the country’s official wallet application and a bitcoin giveaway Thursday.
This week, Bitcoin ATM provider Chainbytes also said it plans to install bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador. The company is setting up a manufacturing hub in the country.
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