The so-called “crypto winter” has undoubtedly been tough on a majority of this ecosystem’s upstarts, even those with supposedly colossal war chests and copious amounts of talent. Heck, earlier this week, Ripple cut Bloomberg alumni Cory Johnson, the fintech firm’s chief market strategist, due to shifts in the Bitcoin winds.
Bitmain, Huobi, and ShapeShift are also among industry powerhouses that have mandated staff cuts to bolster their bear market bottom lines. Other firms, such as Giga Watt and Liqui, have collapsed entirely.
But interestingly, it seems that the crash in the Bitcoin price hasn’t deterred opportunities. Even in trying times, money from ambitious venture capitalists and visionaries alike have continued to rush into this space, no holds barred.
Blockchain Analytics Group Finishes Series B
Ever since it secured $16 million in its Series A funding round during 2018, Chainalysis has become an integral but little-known mainstay in this space. For those who missed the memo, the company, which has headquarters in New York, is a blockchain research and software provider that has played a role in the back offices of the cryptosphere. While the company’s premise may seem boring for most, investors have become enamored with what the team has accomplished, and what it intends to do.
In fact, in a press release issued Tuesday, Chainalysis divulged that it had scored over $30 million in funding for its Series B round, led by Accel, a Palo Alto-based venture group that also has investments in Circle.
Accel’s deal with Chainalysis will also see the Bay Area investment group’s Philippe Botteri and Amit Kumar join the blockchain upstart’s board. Per Business Insider, the duo will aid Chainalysis in bolstering its presence, in the European region, along with its overall research efforts.
With this influx of funding, the analytics unit has decided to bolster its team. The company currently has 30 open roles, including stints ranging from the vice president of finance to the team lead for cybercrimes. Although the company has its primary offices in New York, many of the new positions are located in London and Copenhagen, the former of which is where Chainalysis is looking to double its headcount.
This $30 million dollar deal, which also saw participation from other unnamed financiers, isn’t just about acquiring talent though. Chainalysis divulged that it intends to double-down on its raison d’etre to make blockchain data easy to digest, useful, and accessible for governments, institutions, and native cryptocurrency firms. The company wrote:
“We are building a team that is focused on attributing more services associated with criminal activity, including darknet markets, scams, ransomware, terrorist financing, and sanctions evasion.”
The New York-based firm also explained that it intends to begin analyzing an array of other cryptocurrencies, not just assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum, while also bolstering its “compliance and investigation software” to create a fair environment for cryptocurrencies.
Exact specifics regarding Chainalysis’ plans were scant, but considering that the firm has garnered the support of Binance, Barclays, among a series of other fintech firms, its future remains bright, whether Bitcoin continues lower or otherwise.
Crypto Venture Tap Still Has Water
While props to Chainalysis would be in order, this move only accentuates how the crypto venture capital tap still has water, even in spite of the harrowing market conditions. On Tuesday, Morgan Creek Digital, a crypto-centric venture group headed by fervent decentralist Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, revealed that it had launched a $40 million fund.
The fund, launched weeks, if not months ago, saw investment from two public pension funds that pertain to Virginia, a private institution, a university endowment, and other investors. The fund purportedly already allocated capital towards Bakkt, Coinbase, Harbor, and Blockfi, just to name a few notable crypto upstarts.
Speaking of Bakkt, the Intercontinental Exchange-backed initiative secured over $182.5 million in one of the largest crypto-related deals to date. This round saw Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Horizons Ventures, ICE itself, Microsoft’s venture wing, Pantera Capital, and Galaxy Digital make allocations.
All this and more only goes to show that although BTC has continued to trade in a tight range, with analysts claiming that lower lows are inbound, the smart money is under the impression that eventually, this market will undergo a resurgence.