Institutional Herald: Square buys rapper Jay-Z’s service and BlockFi raises $ 350 million

The cryptocurrency industry is attracting an increasing number of institutional players. This is evidenced by both new investments in infrastructure and the increasing attention that companies are showing to bitcoin as an asset class. The most important events of the last weeks are in the Hodlmonks review.

Square acquires rapper Jay-Z’s Tidal music service

Jack Dorsey’s payment company Square paid $ 297 million in cash and securities for a controlling stake in the streaming service Tidal.

Jay-Z, who bought Tidal in 2015 for $ 56 million, will join Square’s board of directors. According to Dorsey, the rapper will help run “the entire company,” including the Square Seller and the Cash App.

Square is acquiring a majority ownership stake in TIDAL through a new joint venture, with the original artists becoming the second largest group of shareholders, and JAY-Z joining the Square board. Why would a music streaming company and a financial services company join forces ?!

– jack (@jack) March 4, 2021

The founder of Twitter explained that the new acquisition is intended to diversify the business.

“Just as Square gave merchants new tools to make money, the company’s stake in Tidal will help artists find ways to make money,” Dorsey said.

BlockFi raised $ 350 million in investments with a valuation of $ 3 billion

Crypto-lending platform BlockFi has closed its $ 350 million Series D funding round .

The round was attended by Tiger Global, Bain Capital Ventures and Pomp Investments. Investors have estimated BlockFi at $ 3 billion.

The company will direct funds to expand its staff and issue a credit card with cashback in bitcoin in partnership with Visa, as well as to popularize services outside the United States.

NYDIG Raises $ 200 Million From Morgan Stanley, MassMutual And Other Notable Companies

The New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) platform, focused on large players, has closed its $ 200 million funding round . It was headed by the parent company Stone Ridge Holdings Group.

Strategic investors include MassMutual, Soros Fund Management, Morgan Stanley, New York Life, and FS Investments. They were joined by Bessemer Venture Partners and FinTech Collective.

“NYDIG will work with these companies on strategic Bitcoin-related initiatives including investment management, insurance, banking, clean energy and philanthropy,” it said.

Custodian Fireblocks raised $ 133 million

Institutional-focused custodian Fireblocks has closed its $ 133 million Series C funding round .

The round was attended by Ribbit Capital, Stripes, Coatue, as well as Galaxy Digital, Swisscom Ventures and Paradigm. They backed Fireblocks earlier in November.

Silicon Valley Bank and BNY Mellon holding became the strategic investors of the current round.

American Express-Backed Bitcoin Exchange Raises $ 50 Million in Funding

Institutional-focused cryptocurrency trading platform FalconX has raised $ 50 million in investment from Tiger Global and B Capital Group.

In December 2020, the exchange received funds from the venture arm of the payment giant American Express.

FalconX had a market valuation of $ 675 million in the latest round of funding.

Billionaire Alan Howard Supports Custodian Komainu in $ 25 Million Funding Round

Custodian service Komainu raised $ 25 million in a Series A funding round. It is led by billionaire Alan Howard, with contributions from Galaxy Digital, NOIA Capital and Nomura Research Institute.

The company will channel funds towards global expansion, support of additional assets and provision of services to prime brokers.

Focused on institutional investors, Komainu was founded in 2018 by Japanese bank Nomura, hardware wallet developer Ledger and investment firm CoinShares.

DeFi project Reef Finance based on Polkadot raised $ 20 million

Venture capital firm Alameda Research acquired $ 20 million worth of tokens from the Reef Finance project during the funding round.

The project will use the raised funds to expand the team, further develop and launch the main network. In addition, Reef Finance plans to launch a Bug Bounty program and provide grants to developers.

The project also intends to implement cross-chain integration with the FTX and Alameda Research-backed Serum decentralized exchange on the Solana blockchain.

Shortly after the sale of tokens, a conflict arose between the companies. Alameda even threatened to delist the REEF token on the FTX trading platform and “other leading exchanges.”

Reef Finance provides cross-chain solutions and profitable farming opportunities powered by the Polkadot platform, supporting non-custodial and centralized exchanges.

Coinbase Ventures Invests in Vega DeFi Protocol

Vega’s protocol for creating and non-custodial derivatives trading has raised $ 5 million in a funding round.

The main investors were Arrington Capital and Cumberland DRW. Other participants include Coinbase Ventures, ParaFi Capital, Signum Capital, CMT Digital, CMS Holdings, and Stani Kulechov, head of the Aave DeFi project.

Vega runs on Proof-of-Stake and offers incentives for liquidity providers. The developers plan to integrate the protocol with Bitcoin, Polkadot and Cosmos.

CoinShares has invested in sustainable bitcoin mining

Canadian mining firm MintGreen has closed a seed round of funding led by CoinShares.

The Vancouver-based company develops projects for environmentally friendly bitcoin mining. Since 2017, MintGreen has been mining using electricity from renewable sources.

The firm also aims to monetize the heat generated by immersion-cooled equipment by offering it to be used for space heating and water heating without a carbon footprint. MintGreen already has partnerships with several utilities.

The company did not disclose the amount of attracted investments.

Blockchain company Concordium raised $ 15 million

Privacy-focused Swiss firm Concordium raised $ 15 million in a private token sale .

“Concordium has generated strong demand from DeFi projects seeking to build a blockchain with protocol-level identifiers,” said firm chief executive Lone Fonss Schroder.

The platform already has a minimum viable product (MVP) targeting the corporate sector. It uses smart contracts written in the Rust language.

In the second quarter, Concordium intends to launch the main network.

Blockchain project Arianee raised $ 9.5 million

Arianee, a startup that develops technology to authenticate luxury products, raised $ 9.5 million . The seed round of financing was led by the French national investment bank Bpifrance.

The round was also attended by ISAI, Cygni Labs, Noia Capital and a group of French tech entrepreneurs. The project will spend the funds raised on the creation of SaaS tools.

According to Arianee co-founder Luc Jodet, all investors will have access to the ARIA20 token in addition to equity.

Arianee uses proprietary technology to authenticate high-value items, such as blockchain watermarks, digital passports and non -fungible tokens (NFT) .

Crypto processing BCB Group attracted $ 4.5 million in investments

The London-based kriptoprotsessing BCB Group raised $ 4.5 million .

The funding round was spearheaded by investment firm North Island Ventures and cryptocurrency wallet provider Pantera Capital, L1 Digital and Pack Capital also participated in it.

The company will allocate funds to expand the range of services.

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