Which blockchain companies and projects are winning the support of investors? Here’s a roundup of recent investment headlines:
Colorado won’t treat ‘consumptive’ tokens as securities
Cryptocurrencies in Colorado now have limited exemptions from regulations applied to securities, under a bill signed into law on 6 March by Governor Jared Polis. The Colorado Digital Token Act specifies that cryptocurrencies are exempt from certain securities regulations if their primary purpose is a “consumptive purpose”, and if it is not marketed as a speculative or investment instrument. Effective from 2 August, the legislation notes that is aimed at reducing regulatory uncertainty as Colorado has become “a hub for companies and entrepreneurs that seek to utilise cryptoeconomic systems to power blockchain technology-based business models”.
Argentina to match Binance Labs investments in local projects
Binance Labs, a social impact fund run by the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has won a commitment for matching investments from Argentina’s Ministry of Production and Labour. For every Argentine blockchain project that Binance Labs funds, the agency says it will match up to $50,000 in investment. Describing Argentina as “one of the most crypto-friendly countries in Latin America”, Binance Labs recently chose Buenos Aires as a regional hub for its 2019 incubation programme.
ETF targets firms with potential for ‘real’ blockchain earnings
London-based Elwood Asset Management and Invesco have partnered to launch an exchange-traded fund (ETF) “designed to target companies with potential to generate real earnings from blockchain technology”. The Invesco Elwood Global Blockchain UCITS ETF “offers investors access to companies with real earnings now, but with the added potential of blockchain-related earnings not reflected in their share prices”, Invesco’s Chris Mellor said in a press announcement. Elwood head of business development Kevin Beardsley added: “The majority of the index is currently allocated to companies where the value attributable specifically to blockchain technology is either in the ‘developing’ or ‘potential’ phase. These are companies with assets that are well-positioned to capitalise on the emerging opportunities for blockchain. Over time, however, we would expect the balance to shift naturally to companies with more significant direct exposure to blockchain-related earnings as the technology becomes more ubiquitous.”
Overstock subsidiary acquires stake in banking platform Bankorus
Medici Ventures, Overstock’s blockchain subsidiary, recently acquired a 5.1 per cent stake in the blockchain-based banking platform Bankorus. “The addition of Bankorus to Medici Ventures’ portfolio of companies will further our work in building the foundation of a blockchain-based technology stack for society,” Medici Ventures president Jonathan Johnson said in a press announcement on 11 March. “Bankorus has built a revolutionary blockchain banking platform that dovetails nicely with Medici Ventures’ goals of eliminating middlemen, democratising capital, and rehumanising commerce by helping individuals access and control their own digital assets.” Since its founding in 2014, Medici Ventures has invested in a number of blockchain companies, including IdentityMind, Symbiont, Voatz, FinClusive and GrainChain.
Dutch startup secures €2m to develop loan platform
Finturi, a Dutch startup developing a blockchain-based platform to help businesses get loans against invoices, has won a €2m investment from the financial holding company NetSam Participaties BV. Finturi plans to launch its offering in the third quarter of this year, and eventually aims to create a peer-to-peer invoice financing platform for businesses, their clients and financiers. “We want to provide financiers with a platform for investing in invoices with minimum hassle,” Finturi CEO told EU-Startups.
Swiss blockchain fund closes seed round with $22m
The Switzerland-based Pangea Blockchain Fund recently announced it had closed its seed round of funding with $22m in investment. Investors included Copernicus Asset Management SA and Roger Ver of Bitcoin.com. The Pangea Blockchain Fund plans to focus on supporting early-stage companies with both intellectual and financial capital. “Our team’s investment thesis is based on the profoundly important reality that blockchain will fundamentally alter the way society collaborates, transacts, governs and brings new concepts to life,” Blockchain Investment Advisory Sagl co-founder James Duplessie said in a press announcement. “We have chosen the name ‘Pangea’ for our business – because it means ‘whole earth’ – highlighting our intention to use blockchain as a means to provide unifying and transformative change to the world.”