Bitcoin Infrastructure Provider Blockstream Hits Unicorn Status With New Financing
During the same week that Bitcoin pushed above $50,000 for the first time since May, Blockstream — the blockchain tech firm that provides infrastructure for Bitcoin — achieved unicorn status with a new round of financing.
On Tuesday, Blockstream announced it has raised $210 million in a Series B funding round, Blockworks reported. That brought Blockstream’s valuation to $3.2 billion to officially reach unicorn status.
The funding was raised by two investors: investment management company Baillie Gifford and iFinex, the parent of Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex.
Blockstream has raised $299 million to date. That includes this week’s $210 million, as well as a 2014 seed round for $21 million, a Series A round in 2016 for $57 million and an $11 million convertible note.
Chief Strategy Officer Samson Mow told Blockworks that the latest funding round is “an affirmation of our focus to build on top of Bitcoin and our vision of rearchitecting finance with Bitcoin as the base layer. We still have a long way to go in achieving our goals and now we’re able to accelerate on multiple fronts.”
Blockstream will use the latest round of funding to build additional infrastructure, with a focus on the Liquid Network and Bitcoin financial products. Blockstream described the Liquid Network as a sidechain-based settlement network that allows for faster, confidential Bitcoin transactions as well as the issuance of digital assets for traders and exchanges.
The embrace of cryptocurrency by the mainstream financial industry is borne out in how much investment money is pouring into the market lately. In addition to Blockstream, other crypto-based companies that reached unicorn status this month include CoinDCX and FalconX . Meanwhile, Singapore-based crypto financial service platform Matrixport recently closed a $100 million Series C funding round, while Bitpanda closed a funding round of $263 million.
In June, Blockstream got a $5 million investment from financial services and digital payments company Square, GOBankingRates reported. Square is said to be building an open-source, solar-powered Bitcoin mining facility at one of Blockstream’s U.S. sites.
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