Tag: Features

Nasdaq Leads $20 Million Funding Round for Blockchain Startup Symbiont

Coin Desk
Enterprise blockchain startup Symbiont has closed a $20 million Series-B funding round led by Nasdaq Ventures with participation from Galaxy Digital, Citi, Raptor Group and others. The firm, which has kept a fairly low profile the last two years as the cryptocurrency market’s gyrations overshadowed the enterprise sector, previously raised a combined $15.4 million from a seed round in 2014 and Series A in 2017. Symbiont CEO Mark Smith told CoinDesk that the firm doubled its staff last year, and now has more than 60 employees. “We have been very good stewards of capital for the six years we have been in business. I think we have done more with less than anybody out there,” Smith said. “So it was time for us to do a bigger round and adding the Nasdaq as an investor and partner, and Citi as a
What We Learned in 100 Crypto Talks With Institutional Investors

What We Learned in 100 Crypto Talks With Institutional Investors

Coin Desk
Jeff Dorman, partner at crypto asset management firm Arca Funds, spent 18 years on Wall Street and in fintech before turning his focus to developing crypto asset strategies and products.  This article originally appeared in ‘Institutional Crypto,’ a weekly CoinDesk newsletter focused on the nexus of Wall Street and crypto assets. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own.  —————— Through meetings with over 100 institutional investors over the past four months from California to New York, one thing has stood out most − an overwhelmingly positive response. These endowments, family offices, pensions and other institutions are enthusiastic about crypto assets despite an overall pullback in crypto valuations upwards of 75 percent from their all-time highs. This is remarkable.
SF Summit Shows BitTorrent Is Boosting Tron’s Appeal

SF Summit Shows BitTorrent Is Boosting Tron’s Appeal

Coin Desk
“I was very interested in making fun of it.” That’s how crypto YouTuber Ben Armstrong, known around the web as ‘BitBoy,’ described how he felt about Tron prior to its acquisition last summer of file-sharing platform BitTorrent. Now, outside Day 2 of Tron’s niTROn Summit in San Francisco this week, BitBoy felt differently: Tron was worth paying attention to. Sure, the company’s over-the-top marketing exploits (not to mention accusations from crypto luminaries such as Vitalik Buterin of plagiarizing others’ work) were an easy source of derision, BitBoy said. But the BitTorrent move had changed the calculus. It was a sentiment CoinDesk encountered more than once among attendees of the event. When we spoke with Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun after his opening remarks, project promotion was st
Proof-of-Stake Could Lead to Crypto Banking. Let’s Avoid That

Proof-of-Stake Could Lead to Crypto Banking. Let’s Avoid That

Coin Desk, EOS, ETHEREUM
Michael J. Casey is the chairman of CoinDesk’s advisory board and a senior advisor for blockchain research at MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative. The following article originally appeared in CoinDesk Weekly, a custom-curated newsletter delivered every Sunday exclusively to our subscribers. ___________ With last week’s Constantinople delay offering a reminder that ethereum faces challenges in its long roadmap to migrate from a proof-of-work (POW) consensus algorithm to proof-of-stake (POS), it’s easy to miss the fact that elsewhere in crypto-land, POS is already a thing. A little-discussed ramification is that POS will drive new business and financial models for cryptocurrencies, which will, in turn, give rise to a new regulatory and security challenges. Viewed through the prism of tradition
Oceans Apart: Crypto Regulation in the US and EU

Oceans Apart: Crypto Regulation in the US and EU

Coin Desk
Noelle Acheson is a veteran of company analysis and member of CoinDesk’s product team. The following article originally appeared in Institutional Crypto by CoinDesk, a newsletter for the institutional market, with news and views on crypto infrastructure delivered every Tuesday. Sign up here. ————————–————————–————————–————————–————————–————————– Spare a thought for the financial regulators: the American ones, with no paycheck during the government shut-down and a whopping backlog awaiting when they eventually get back to work; and the European ones, with a fragmenting union, disjointed capital markets and a glut of new rules seeping through the labyrinthine halls of power. Now, compare the very different approaches to crypto asset regulation from each side of the Atlantic. While the U.S. S
Who’s Left, Joined and Almost Joined Coinbase Since Its $300 Million Raise

Who’s Left, Joined and Almost Joined Coinbase Since Its $300 Million Raise

Coin Desk
Crypto exchange startup Coinbase is a hot place to work – and undoubtedly a coveted resume destination for technologists looking to advance their careers in Silicon Valley. One of the cryptocurrency industry’s few unicorns – or companies with a valuation over $1 billion (Coinbase was valued at $8 billion in its last $300 million funding round in October 2018) – the San Francisco-based exchange has nearly 800 staff members and is adding “dozens of employees each week,” spokesperson Rachael Horwitz told CoinDesk. This aggressive expansion has included opening an office in New York with plans to hire 100 there, bidding for talent with a new egg-freezing benefit, and launching an over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk in November. Recently, however, the company saw some exits, too, as at least ni
Barclays and Clearmatics Call on Coders to Help Blockchains Talk to Each Other

Barclays and Clearmatics Call on Coders to Help Blockchains Talk to Each Other

Coin Desk, ETHEREUM
U.K. bank Barclays and London-based startup Clearmatics are inviting coders to come up with ways to connect ethereum with made-for-enterprise blockchains such as Hyperledger Fabric. The interoperability challenge is being hosted by Clearmatics and will use a template involving its open-source interoperability protocol, Ion. The hackathon will take place at the Barclays Rise fintech hub in London on February 5 and 6.    The importance of addressing interoperability between major enterprise blockchain platforms is reflected by the big names involved: a panel of judges will feature representatives from megabanks Barclays, UBS, HSBC and Santander. (The prizes for the teams that come up with the most impressive solutions have not yet been announced.) The consulting giant EY will be observing
Genesis Trading and BitGo Team Up to Enable High-Frequency Crypto Trading

Genesis Trading and BitGo Team Up to Enable High-Frequency Crypto Trading

Coin Desk
Cryptocurrency custodian BitGo and over-the-counter (OTC) specialist Genesis Global Trading have teamed up on a service designed to make Wall Street feel more comfortable dipping a toe in the market.   Announced today, the tie-up means institutional investors storing digital assets with BitGo can use Genesis’ platform to execute trades at the speed they are accustomed to in the traditional financial markets. For example, if a client holds 100 bitcoin in their BitGo cold storage wallet, they can get a quote via Genesis and sell those bitcoins immediately. The moment the client agrees on the trade, BitGo locks up the 100 bitcoin and holds them to give to Genesis, which initiates a U.S. dollar bank wire to BitGo. Once the wire goes through, the bitcoin transfer is settled on BitGo’s books,
The ‘Thirdening’ Approaches: How to Watch Ethereum’s Fork as It Happens

The ‘Thirdening’ Approaches: How to Watch Ethereum’s Fork as It Happens

Coin Desk, ETHEREUM
The world’s third largest blockchain by total value, ethereum, is about to upgrade its code. Named Constantinople, the system-wide upgrade, or hard fork, is set to enact several tech improvements, most designed to increase usability and improve smart contract design, should users of the network decide to upgrade to the new software when it’s introduced this week. Already, excitement is gathering around the upgrade, with developers pointing to one particular update – named EIP 1014 or Skinny CREATE2 – as potentially paving way for new technical innovations. Still, statistics currently demonstrate that the adoption of Constantinople have been low to date. While developers say the metrics in question are not a fair representation of overall support, it’s worth keeping an eye that this doesn’t
All Crypto Is Created Equal? That’s What Regulators Seem to See

All Crypto Is Created Equal? That’s What Regulators Seem to See

Coin Desk
Mason Borda is an entrepreneur who has spent his career building secure infrastructure to enable the compliant transfer of digital assets. He is the CEO and co-founder of TokenSoft Inc, which offers a suite of products focused on institutional grade compliance for companies to issue and manage digital assets and digital securities. The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review. As we enter 2019, it’s clear that blockchain technology is predicted to disrupt a range of industries, and that the future of blockchains may reside with tokens. In fact, in the second half of 2018, security tokens became one of the most written about areas within the growing digital asset industry. Publications have started to call 2019 the year of the security token. But what does t