Crypto behemoth Coinbase announced today that it raised $300 million in the latest round of funding, valuing the company at $8 billion. The Series E round was led by Tiger Global Management, with Wellington Management, a16z and Polychain as co-investors. This underpins the long-term bullish view on cryptocurrencies that top VCs are betting on, despite the steep drop in trading volumes across the board. 2018 seems to be a milestone year for Coinbase as the company is spreading its wings to achieve its stated goal of an open financial system, by launching Coinbase Pro, as well as Coinbase custody for institutional investors. The company also has indicated that it is going to be more aggressive with listing more digital assets.
According to Bloomberg, the company is expected to hit a revenue figure of $1.4 billion in 2018, a 3x increase from 2017, despite an 80% drop in trading volumes. As we opined in our earlier issue, centralized entities are to be credited for fast-growing crypto adoption as they still remain the easiest access point for newcomers to interface with the crypto ecosystem by providing critical infrastructure and the assurance of regulatory compliance at a time when the laws around cryptocurrency regulations are still ambiguous and need time to evolve.
“UK Taskforce Releases Latest Report” The U.K. Cryptoassets Taskforce has released a report that proposes some changes for cryptocurrency regulation and raises concerns over how digital assets are traded and used. The report, among other things, states that crypto assets used as a means of exchange can not be recognized as a currency or money due to high volatility, poor acceptance as means of exchange, and failure of use as a unit of account.
“NXC Acquires Bitstamp” One of the longest-standing crypto exchanges, Bitstamp, was sold to South Korea’s Nexon, marking the gaming firm’s second such acquisition. The acquirer is NXMH, a Belgium-based PE and investment firm owned by NXC — the parent of Nexon — and it will take a majority 80 percent stake in the business for an unknown fee. NXC also acquired 65 percent of Korea-based exchange Korbit one year ago for approximately $79.5 million.
“SCIA Labels Digital Assets as Legal Property” The Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) has affirmed that digital assets, specifically Bitcoin and several of its hard forks, are considered legal property by the current laws of the People’s Republic of China. “Although Bitcoin may not be a legal currency, that does not prevent it from being protected by law as a property,” said SCIA in a released case analysis.
“Crypto Treatment for Political Financing” In a new research report, blockchain-oriented research firm Clovr surveyed 1,023 eligible voters registered in the US for their understanding of what impact virtual currency could exert on the political process. Per the survey, almost 60 percent of the voters surveyed answered that crypto and USD should be treated the same for political funding, while 21 percent of respondents said the opposite.
“ZCash Launches Sapling”The privacy-focused cryptocurrency ZCash has officially implemented its network hard fork, known as Sapling. Sapling has long been planned as an upgrade aimed at making the network faster, lighter and more secure. The company anticipates that transactions will take 90 percent less time and require 97 percent less memory to occur as a result. That being said, the overall zcash ecosystem will still need some time to add new addresses.
Planting Bitcoin Season (2/4) by Dan Held
Ethereum’s Governance Model by Hudson Jameson