The cryptocurrency industry is steaming. The total market value of cryptocurrencies is close to $2 trillion-more than that of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. Since March 8th, the transaction price of Bitcoin has been more than 50,000 U.S. dollars, and the market value has reached 1
However, institutions and venture capital firms eager to profit from it are not in vain. A large amount of capital is flocking to cryptocurrency startups, casting new unicorns at an alarming rate. In March, three cryptocurrency companies raised the largest fundraising in the short but rich history of the industry. According to data from the data platform PitchBook, there are now at least 18 cryptocurrency native companies with unicorn identities.
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In the heyday of ICOs, the company raised billions of dollars, but the hype was short-lived. Low-quality projects, multiple scams, and lack of institutional and regulatory oversight led to what is now the so-called Big Cryptocurrency collapse in 2018, when the index tracking the performance of the 10 largest and most liquid digital assets plummeted by 80%.
The cryptocurrency bulls hope this time is completely different. Publicly listed companies such as MicroStrategy and Square have accumulated a large number of bitcoin positions on their balance sheets and see them as substitutes for gold. At the same time, US Bitcoin ETF applications are piling up at the door of the US Securities Regulatory Commission, and the market is buzzing with expectations of Coinbase’s planned direct listing on April 14 (this is the first major public offering of a cryptocurrency company) .In the frenzy Forbes Analyzed data from PitchBook and compiled a list of the top ten largest venture capital transactions for blockchain and cryptocurrency local companies.
Bitmain: US$422 million
transaction date: August 7, 2018
VC round: B1 series
Famous investors: Crimson Capital (China) Co., Ltd., Hyacinth (Asia), Jumbo Group, Lioness Capital, Palace Investment Company, Pavilion Capital
Post-mortem valuation: $15 billion
Previous valuation: $12 billion
As the world’s leading manufacturer of Bitcoin mining hardware, Bitmain also operates Antpool (one of the top Bitcoin mining pools), which accounts for more than 12% of the Bitcoin network hash (or computing power). Soon after raising $422 million in funding, the Beijing-based company filed an IPO application on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in September 2018, but failed due to the collapse of Bitcoin and the cooling of the market.
BlockFi: $350 million
transaction date: March 11, 2021
VC round: D series
Famous investors: Partners of Bain Capital Ventures, DST Global, Pomp Investments, Tiger Global, Susquehanna Government Products
Post-mortem valuation: $3 billion
Previous valuation: 435 million USD
Founded in 2017 and headquartered in New Jersey, BlockFi is now one of the leading cryptocurrency loan providers. Its products cover multiple categories, including crypto mortgages and interest-bearing accounts, through which investors can earn interest on their cryptocurrency holdings. According to reports, in the case of job opportunities, rumors that BlockFi may conduct an IPO began to circulate in July last year, part of which involves helping the company go public.
Dapper Labs: $305 million
transaction date: March 30, 2021
VC round: Round 5
Famous investors: Coat management, Andreessen Horowitz, Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant
Post-mortem valuation: $2.6 billion
Previous valuation: Not applicable
This Vancouver-based startup is well-known as the developer of NBA Top Shot, which is the NFT basketball video collection or “moment” trading market. The transaction volume of the project has exceeded 400 million U.S. dollars and is mainly responsible for the rise of non-substitutable tokens (NFT), which are essentially digital proof of ownership that can be traced on the blockchain. Previously, Dapper Labs developed a popular Ethereum collectibles game called CryptoKitties.
Blockchain.com: $300 million
transaction date: March 24, 2021
VC round: Series C
Famous investors: DST Global, VY Capital’s Lightspeed Venture Partners
Post-mortem valuation: US$5.2 billion
Previous valuation: $3 billion
Blockchain.com provides various encryption services for retail and institutional clients, but is known for its non-custodial digital wallets. Unlike wallets controlled by third parties, these wallets provide users with full control over the private keys that represent the ownership of encrypted assets. The London-based company claims that it has processed 28% of all Bitcoin transactions since 2012.
Bakkt: $300 million
transaction date: March 16, 2020
VC round: Series B
Famous investors: Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), BCG Digital Ventures, PayU
Post-mortem valuation: Not applicable
Previous valuation: Not applicable
In February 2020, ICE’s cryptocurrency company (owner of the New York Stock Exchange) announced the acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions, a loyalty program provider, to power Bakkt’s one-stop retail platform. The service called Bakkt App allows users to aggregate various digital assets in one wallet, including loyalty points, reward programs, game assets and cryptocurrencies. In January, Bakkt announced that it would go public through the merger of SPAC and VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings’ SPAC, with an enterprise value of approximately US$2.1 billion. After the transaction is completed in the second quarter of 2021, the combined company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the name Bakkt Holdings, Inc.
Coinbase: $300 million
transaction date: October 30, 2018
VC round: Series E
Famous investors: Tiger Global Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Singapore Government Investment Corporation (GIC), Polychain Capital
Post-mortem valuation: $8.04 billion
Previous valuation: $1.71 billion
On February 25, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States applied for a direct listing on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. According to recent documents, Coinbase is valued at US$68 billion. On March 19, the company was fined $6.5 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) because the company accused its GDAX platform of false transaction reports and false transactions between 2015 and 2018, and later changed its name to Coinbase Pro . The direct listing on the exchange is scheduled for April 14.
Bitmain: $292.7 million
transaction date: June 19, 2018
VC round: Series B
Famous investors: Sequoia Capital, Apparel Management, China Pacific, Blue Beacon Service
Post-mortem valuation: $12 billion
Previous valuation: $100 million
Hangzhou Qulian Technology Co., Ltd.: US$235 million
transaction date: June 4, 2018
VC round: Series B
Famous investors: Xinhu Zhongbao Company, China High-tech Investment Group, National Development and Investment Corporation
Post-mortem valuation: USD 470.25 million
Previous valuation: 40.33 million USD
Qulian Technology provides blockchain products to major Chinese organizations and institutions such as the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State Administration for Market Regulation, the State Grid and local governments. According to the company, its one-stop blockchain open service BaaS platform FiLoop is used by some of China’s largest banks, including China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and China Merchants Bank. Qulian Technology’s partners also include Google and Microsoft.
Bithumb: US$200 million
transaction date: April 19, 2019
VC round: second round
Famous investors: Vidente, ID Ventures (South Korea), ST Blockchain Fund
Post-mortem valuation: As of January 2021, the value is unknown, valued at US$882.7 million
Previous valuation: US$886.2 million
According to reports, in September 2020, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Department conducted a fraud allegation search on the office of one of South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, which was related to a $25 million token sale, but it was never realized and gave Investors have brought losses.
Ripple Labs: $200 million
transaction date: October 1, 2020
VC round: Series C
Famous investors: Tetragon Financial Group, SBI Holdings, Transform Capital, 10X Capital
Post-mortem valuation: $10 billion
Previous valuation: 410 million US dollars (2016)
In December last year, the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused Ripple Labs and its senior management of selling $1.3 billion of XRP, the original assets of the payment network developed by the company, as unregistered securities. After the allegations, multiple exchanges and trading platforms including Coinbase, Binance.US and eToro delisted XRP and suspended trading. In January, the UK-based investment company Tetragon Financial Group filed a lawsuit to redeem its stake in Ripple, but ultimately lost. Despite the impact, XRP is still one of the most traded digital assets.