European privacy-focused startup, Nym Technologies, has recently raised $13 million from industry investors in its third investment round.
a16z and Others Invest In Nym
According to an official press release shared with CryptoPotato, the just-concluded investment round was led by the leasing Silicon Valley firm – Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).
Nym noted that the fresh cash injection will be used to expand its community and add a dedicated project team just before the launch of its decentralized mixnet mainnet.
Speaking on the latest funding, Ali Yahy, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said:
“Nym’s network-level technology is essential for any blockchain that strives to offer privacy for its users, and its clever incentive structures set it apart from other solutions. Nym’s team may be the most advanced group of mixnet researchers and engineers ever assembled. As demand for online privacy continues to grow, their role in the space will become ever-more important.”
The round also saw investments from other notable names, including Digital Currency Group, Tayssir Capital, Huobi Ventures, Hashkey, and Fenbushi.
The firm noted that the fundraise gives evidence of the surging interest of mainstream venture capital firms in the growing demand for privacy solutions, following the hiring of Chelsea Manning, the famous U.S. whistleblower, as a security auditor.
NYM CEO Harry Halpin explained: “We at Nym are very lucky, as it’s historically unprecedented to see support from the best venture capitalists to stop mass surveillance. To make privacy real on the scale of the entire internet, building a real-world working mixnet has long been the missing piece of a puzzle that predates even the origin of Bitcoin.”
Defeating State-Level Mass Surveillance
The Nym mixnet is a decentralized, innovative component of the NYM system. This revolutionary technology can allegedly defeat nation-state-level mass surveillance.
The mixnet system achieves this feat by mixing packets in a series of decentralized nodes and adding dummy traffic as needed. Nym noted that it plans to roll out NYM Tokenomics and begin stress-testing the infrastructure before scheduling the date of its mainnet launch.
The crypto and blockchain space seems to be thriving. In fact, this vertical has fetched the largest valuation step-up this year. Naturally, VC firm Paradigm has also ramped up its game with its latest $2.5 billion venture fund.
With the wave of new-fangled investor interest, eye-popping fundraises in crypto are not surprising anymore. One such high-profile investment firm is Paradigm that has managed to capture the crypto industry’s biggest venture fund ever after breaking the previous record set by Silicon Valley monolith Andreessen Horowitz.
The Bombshell Venture Fund
VC firm Paradigm has announced a new $2.5 billion venture fund dedicated to cryptocurrency companies as well as protocols. According to the official blog post, the fund in question will continue to invest alongside its already existing flagship fund across all stages as well as geographies.
Fred Ehrsam, the Co-founder and Managing Partner at Paradigm, who had previously co-founded Coinbase, stated that the new fund and its size demonstrates “crypto being the most exciting frontier in technology.” While speaking about the potential of crypto, they also touched upon the growth of decentralized financial (DeFi) structure and Web3 applications.
At the same time, the team behind Paradigm also shed light on its mission. The firm plans to be the “earliest and most helpful partner” to entrepreneurs and communities in the cryptocurrency industry and also vowed to continue “incubating ideas.” In addition to investing at the earliest stages, it also went on to add that it will partner with later-stage category leaders and support organizations at every step in between.
The latest news comes a month after the venture capital firm was reportedly looking to secure $1.5 billion.
Spring Fever for Crypto Deals
As Bitcoin (BTC) and the rest of the market boomed, the opportunities also amplified. As a result of the bull market, the space has witnessed a flurry of dealmaking and intense capital infusion. In the first quarter alone, VC investment in crypto and blockchain startups climbed to a record $3 billion across 239 deals, according to data compiled by PitchBook.
Paradigm, for one, has since raked in approximately $10 billion in assets since its inception three years ago. It has also invested in around 40 crypto companies, some of the big names include crypto exchanges Coinbase and FTX Trading.
Speaking at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha conference on Sept. 29, a16z partner Katie Haun said the U.S. should look towards China for what not to do.
She was referring to Beijing’s incessant crackdowns on the crypto industry and any activities related to the trade of digital currencies.
In her view, financial regulators in the U.S. should be doing the exact opposite, but at the moment, it appears they are following in China’s footsteps with moves to over-regulate crypto rather than ban it outright.
“This is an opportunity for the United States, because we should be doing the exact opposite in my mind in this realm of what China is doing,”
Don’t Follow China
Haun, who currently manages Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto investments, predicted that China will “tie trade, tie loans, tie other assistance to the use of essentially their stablecoin,” or CBDC.
According to CNBC, she added that the U.S. is taking the right approach with a central bank digital currency.
“I’m glad we’re studying as a country CBDCs, but we’ve publicly said as a country that we’re going to keep studying it for a couple of years. I think it’s really important that policymakers and private industry in the U.S. work together.”
Other industry experts have been critical of Uncle Sam’s lethargic approach predicting that they will get left behind. In April, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell said that a Chinese-style CBDC would not work in America, hinting that it is one that enabled the state to monitor all financial transactions.
Haun stated that not all crypto industry players were against regulation, stating, “It’s not that the industry does not want regulation,” before adding, “It wants clarity, but it also does not want to be treated as a monolith.”
Grim State of Crypto Regulation Ahead?
She said, “regulation cannot be one size fits all,” referring to NFTs, which should not be treated as a financial product or service.
The executive expressed disappointment as the Securities and Exchange Commission for penalizing Coinbase over its proposed Lend product. She said some companies are getting punished despite “good faith efforts” while others “are really getting a free pass” for skirting regulations.
The current state of regulation in the U.S. is looking pretty grim as the Biden administration empowers more anti-crypto lawmakers. The latest being the nomination of staunch banking and crypto critic Saule Omarova to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
The co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz – Marc Andreessen – highlighted cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as a financial revolution. He also praised bitcoin, saying it is not only a digital asset but a network providing numerous options to investors.
Cryptocurrencies Can Build Trusty Relationships
During an interview for Bloomberg, the American entrepreneur Marc Andreessen revealed his reasons what makes digital assets an enduring investment option. He stated that one of their main qualities is that they can “form trusty relationships in an untrusty environment.” He went further, opining that virtual currencies represent a “fundamental technological transformation:”
“We view it as a fundamental technological transformation. So there’s a fundamental breakthrough that has actually happened. So it’s the ability for a lot of people and software on the Internet to be able to form trusty relationships in an untrusty environment.”
Andreessen Horowitz’s co-founder said that the asset class could be kind of confusing for investors. To him, it is like “the parable of the blind man and the elephant,” and that is one reason why some people get distracted and carried away. Still, he outlined that cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology are superior to fiat money.
“Many of the smartest people in computer science are going into this field and they are pushing it forward in a really rapid rate, ” he added.
Andreessen spoke about bitcoin, too, describing it as “an internet computer that’s spread out across hundreds and thousands of physical computers all over the world.” It is a decentralized transaction processing system that can employ various financial operations besides just exchanging money.
Subsequently, he opined that keeping the identity of Bitcoin’s creator as a secret is “one of the most amazing things.” The top executive pointed out that the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto knew from the very beginning how important this move would be and called it “double amazing” how he/she or they could maintain it undisclosed all this time.
Andreessen Horowitz to Launch a $2.2B Cryptocurrency Fund
The Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) recently showed its support towards the digital asset industry and announced its intentions to launch a $2.2 billion fund. The company plans to distribute the amount across blockchain and cryptocurrency start-ups. Katie Haun and Chris Dixon – the leaders of the organization’s virtual assets arm commented:
“The size of this fund speaks to the size of the opportunity before us: crypto is not only the future of finance but, as with the internet in the early days, is poised to transform all aspects of our lives.”
In addition, a16z had hired numerous new personnel for the initiative, including former Securities and Exchange Director Bill Hinman.
Featured Image Courtesy of Stanford.Edu
The world’s largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea has recently raised $100 million from industry investors in a recently-concluded Series B funding round led by leading American venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz.
Making NFT Trading Accessible to More Users
In an official press release published Wednesday, OpenSea noted that it will use the funds to expand its reach into several new international markets to make NFT trading accessible to more users.
The project also added that part of the funding will be used to scale its platform, focusing primarily on hiring new engineering talent to further establish its presence within the NFT space.
The funding round, led by Andreessen Horowitz, received support from several other investors including Coatue and CAA, along with Michael Ovitz, Kevin Hartz, Kevin Durant, and Ashton Kutcher.
In a statement, Kathryn Haun, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said: “The team at OpenSea realized early on the need for an open, cross-blockchain marketplace where anyone can buy, sell and create digital NFTs which is why they are one of the most important companies in crypto today.
We are thrilled to double down on this team, their technology, and overall vision as they continue to provide the best user experience for today’s creators, buyers, and sellers, in one platform.”
A $1.5 Billion Valuation
The fresh capital comes just a few months after the project received $23 million in a Series A funding round from several angel investors, including Mark Cuban and Ron Conway. With the new funding, OpenSea now has a market valuation of $1.5 billion.
The platform is also set to become the first cross-blockchain NFT marketplace as it intends to launch official support for multiple blockchains. OpenSea currently supports several chains including Ethereum, Polygon, and Klaytn, with plans to add support for Flow and Tezos.
The NFT space has been witnessing explosive growth in recent months and this funding comes at a time when OpenSea is driving mainstream adoption.
As the largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea recorded a massive influx of investors on its platform. Just last month alone, it sold over $160 million worth of non-fungible tokens and saw its trading volume for the first half of 2021 experience a 45x increase.
OpenSea CEO: NFT is the New Internet
OpenSea Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Devin Finzer believes non-fungible tokens are on their way to “becoming the new internet” as the adoption of crypto economies continues to grow.
“We’re proud to be leading this growing industry that we have been part of for a long time. As we continue to scale, our focus will remain on our customers, and providing the best user experience and entry point into NFTs,” Finzer added.
Meanwhile, in another development, Enjin, the creator of the ERC-1155 token standard, became the first NFT platform to join the UN Global Compact in a move to use non-fungible tokens to promote sustainability and equality.
Roughly three years after releasing its first crypto-related product, the private US venture capital firm a16z has outlined plans to double down via a ‘radically optimistic’ digital asset fund. The company’s partners called the industry ‘the future of finance.”
- Founded in 2009, Andreessen Horowitz is a venture capital giant operating from California that has already launched several pro-cryptocurrency products. It has also previously participated in the funding rounds of numerous DeFi protocols, including Uniswap.
- According to a CNBC coverage from June 24th, a16z plans to release its largest fund focused on digital assets yet. Its initial capital will be $2.2 billion, which the company intends to distribute across blockchain and cryptocurrency start-ups.
“The size of this fund speaks to the size of the opportunity before us: crypto is not only the future of finance but, as with the internet in the early days, is poised to transform all aspects of our lives.” – commented Katie Haun and Chris Dixon, who run the company’s digital assets arm.
- Despite the market’s infamous high volatility, which saw prices correct with double-digits on some occasions, Haun and Dixon believe the next “wave of computing innovation will be driven by crypto.”
- Consequently, they classified the new fund as a “radically optimistic” initiative with high aspirations for the industry.
- Additionally, Andreessen Horowitz has hired numerous new personnel for the fund, including former Securities and Exchange Director Bill Hinman.