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Report: VC Funding for Blockchain Reaches Record $1.3 Billion

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At just five months into 2018, the tally far surpasses 2017 totals.

Nearly $1.3 billion has been invested in blockchain companies in the first five months this year, surpassing the amount of venture capital in the space for the whole of 2017, Crunchbase reports. Not only that, TechCrunch says that this dollar volume is greater than the reported funding totals for the 18 months between July 1, 2016, and New Year’s Eve 2017.

One of the most recent VC rounds helping contribute to this milestone and augment funding totals year-to-date (YTD) is Circle. Earlier this month, the Boston-based global crypto finance company announced a $110 million series E round let by the bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer, Bitman. Additional investors include Tusk Ventures, Pantera Capital, IDG Capital Partner, General Catalyst, Accel Partners, Digital Currency Group, Blockchain Capital, and Breyer Capital.

Securing such a sizeable has ushered the company into a select group of crypto companies that are currently valued at $1 billion or more based on their most recent venture capital round. Pre-money, Circle was valued at $2.9 billion—up substantially from their $420 million pre-money valuation from their Series D round that closed in May 2016, which raised $60 million. Until For reference, until Circle was in the mix, only Robinhood, a mobile stock trading platform, and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, were among the top-ranked “crypto-unicorns” per Crunchbase.

This is but one example of a number of large funding rounds related to blockchain technology reported this year:

  • Orbs, a startup headquartered in Tel Aviv offering blockchain as a service for consumer brands, raised $118 million.
  • Ledger, a Paris-based bitcoin wallet maker, raised $75 million
  • Project Shivom, a German company dedicated to applying blockchain technology and AI to genomics, raised 32 million
  • Blockchain analysis platform Chainalysis raised $16 million in a Benchmark-led Series A round

The below chart depicts a broader picture of worldwide venture deal and dollar volume for blockchain and blockchain-adjacent companies. The data intentionally excludes initial coin offerings (ICOs) and instead focuses on venture deals spanning angel investments, seed capital, convertible notes, Seed A, Seed B, and so on.

Pulsar, a London-based social intelligence platform, recently released a white paper exploring the mainstream rise of cryptocurrency through the lens of social data. On the whole, the research set out to gain a more concrete understanding to the burning question: To what extent is the “mainstream” social audience aware of, and genuinely interested in, cryptocurrency?

Specifically, the research focused on how search and price data correlated to conversation trends. The findings indeed support the hypothesis that digital engagement around cryptocurrency has a measurable impact on perception and behavior—namely investment.

Overall, there is a shift in sentiments as of late from pessimism to optimism, though the former still prevails per Crunchbase. According to the findings, since mid-October, pessimism has decreased by more than 10 percent, while optimism and predictions conversations have increased. Primarily these conversations has been driven by the 35 and up age group. Moreover, 95 percent or more of public discussion around cryptocurrency use focuses on legitimate applications. This is in stark contrast to the opinion that previously prevailed, that is, cryptocurrency is an enabler of “shady” business.

Despite there being a great deal that is still unknown with respect to blockchain and the future of cryptocurrency at large, what is clear today is that the topic is expanding from niche audiences and seeping its way into a much broader, global conversation. With this early phase of publication participation, conversation momentum will continue to drive rising prices.

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