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Blockchain Market Watch: Which Startups Are Top VC Firms Investing In?

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  • Urvashi Verma
    ⭐ Features

    VC firms are acutely aware of the potential of Blockchain to transform our world. While many companies will build solutions; which ones will succeed?

Blockchain Market Watch: Which Startups Are Top VC Firms Investing In?
Cover image via u.today

VC firms are acutely aware of the potential of Blockchain to transform our world. While many companies will build solutions; which ones will succeed?

Two venture capital firms, Andreessen Horowitz (Andreessen) and Union Square Venture (USV) may have cracked the formula of how to make future bets on Blockchain.  Both have been investing in blockchain-based technologies and cryptocurrencies since 2013, according to CB Insights.

Factors Fueling Growth in Blockchain Market Cap

The demand for blockchain technology solutions is expected to increase rapidly due to the growing adoption of its distributed ledger technology. Global blockchain market size is expected to grow to 7.6 bln by 2022 from 411.5 mln last year, according to a report from Research and Markets.

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Factors fueling the exponential growth of the Blockchain market have been the rising cryptocurrency market capitalization rates and initial coin offerings combined with the benefits of processing transactions, the report says.

VC Investment Trends To Watch: Decentralized Apps

Investors have been pouring funds into decentralized applications (dApps).  

CryptoKitties, a decentralized app crypto-collectible digital cats raised $12 mln Series A at the end of March.  CryptoKitties, built using Ethereum, are digital pieces of content that are unique, have a fixed number that someone can own, buy, sell, trade.  USV described CryptoKitties, as digital collectibles that could not have existed before the emergence of Blockchain.

The company said in its blog post:

“We think digital collectibles and all of the games they enable will be one of the, if not the first, big consumer use cases for blockchain technologies.”

Andreessen recently invested in Dfinity a startup that plans to create a decentralized cloud capable of competing with Ethereum and other smart contract platforms. The company received  $61 mln in Feb. and intends to use them to incentivize developers to build on its cloud, according to CB Insights.

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Startups Taking on Bitcoin

USV’s 2018 investments target cryptocurrency startups like Algorand and Chia that are capable of building products that take direct aim at the existing limitations of Bitcoin. Algorand, a startup which is building a high-speed blockchain-based payments protocol raised $4 mln in its seed funding round in Feb.

Chia is a new cryptocurrency, which garnered $3.4 mln in seed funding at the end of March. The company says it uses a more energy-efficient mechanism than Bitcoin’s Proof of Work. While Bitcoin has a much more substantial market presence at this time; these companies are poised to challenge Bitcoin’s new Lightning Network, experts say.

About the author

Urvashi Verma is a Chicago-based reporter who writes about the convergence of technology and business. She is interested in fintech, digital currencies, blockchain and currency markets. Urvashi formerly worked with the Times of Israel covering Israel's booming tech industry including Start-Up Nation, venture capital investment, and crowd-funding platforms.

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Bitcoin Price Can Be Easily Pushed Down by Whales: Professor John Griffin

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  • Alex Dovbnya
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    John Griffin says that rapid price swings are possible because it can be manipulated by deep-pocketed whales who are not stronger than ever

Bitcoin Price Can Be Easily Pushed Down by Whales: Professor John Griffin
Cover image via u.today

Economics professor John Griffin recently rang alarm bells over the impact of Bitcoin whales on the Bitcoin market. 

Griffin told Bloomberg that a few large players could easily push the BTC price down at a whim. 

"The problem with a few large players holding crypto is that when they sell they can easily push the price down, which makes the market susceptible to rapid swings."  

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Whales are getting more powerful 

According to data released by CoinMetrics, the number of orange coins controlled by deep-pocketed Bitcoin investors reached its highest point in four years in 2019. As of December, a whopping 42.1 percent of Bitcoin's total circulating supply is stored in wallets that hold between 1,000 and 1 mln BTC. 

While crypto exchanges are known to be the owners of the richest Bitcoin addresses, investor Aaron Brown warms some of the new whales on the block are family offices and affluent individuals who are not exactly keen Bitcoin believers who might be tempted to jump ship if things turn south. 

“I doubt they have infinite patience, and without significant growth in actual use, I would expect them to quietly withdraw to chase other promising technologies,” Brown said.

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Becrying Tether's impact on Bitcoin 

Speaking of those who don't believe in Bitcoin, Griffin probably takes the cake as one of the most prominent naysayers. Back in June 2018, together with his colleague Amin Shams, he published a paper that explores how Tether was allegedly responsible for propelling Bitcoin to new highs during the peak of the previous bull market in December 2018. 

At the beginning of November, the two academics came up with an even more shooking claim -- the historic ascent of Bitcoin to its current all-time high of $20,000 was the deed of a single whale on Bitfinex, the affiliated exchange of Tether.

Tether dismissed the updated study as a puff piece that was meant to back up a $1.4 trln lawsuit against the flagship stablecoin issuer. 

About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with an extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets.

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