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PayPal invests in Blockchain Startup Cambridge Blockchain

Image Credit: Bitcoin Exchange Guide

Global online payments firm PayPal has recently made an investment in a blockchain startup. The news was reported by Forbes on April 2.

The investment is an extension to a Series A funding round in the startup,  Cambridge Blockchain. The startup first raised a total of $7 million in May 2018.

As per the report, Cambridge Blockchain’s May 2018 Series A included participation from VC firm Digital Currency Group, the VC arm of Taiwanese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and tech investment firm Partech Ventures.

While the size of investment is still under wraps, as per filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commision, Cambridge Blockchain managed to raise $3.5 million over a course of nine months since May 2018.

An unnamed PayPal spokesperson is cited by Forbes as saying that: We made an investment in Cambridge Blockchain because it is applying blockchain for digital identity in a way that we believe could benefit financial services companies including PayPal.”

The $3.5 million for the Series A extension also includes a new investment from self-described philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network. 

Cambridge Blockchain joins Major Players 

Cambridge Blockchain is a new entry to major players such as Microsoft, IBM, Mastercard, and Accenture to collaborate under non-profit organization dubbed the Decentralized Identity Foundation.

Cambridge Blockchain will use the Series A and extension funding on research and development, as well as expanding its workforce in Boston, Paris and Beijing. The latter with the view to develop a number of projects together with Foxconn.

Forbes also noted that Cambridge Blockchain CEO Matthew Commons first collaborated with PayPal as part of the firm’s co-hosted accelerator Fintech Europe 2018. The accelerator focusses on  helping startups to grapple with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation.

PayPal, whose active number of users surpassed 254 million in Q3 of last year, also launched a blockchain-based reward system for its employees in December 2018.

Crypto Adoption on a Rise

Also, per a recent filing with United States and Exchange Commission (SEC), Silvergate bank signed a new bunch of customers in the fourth quarter of 2018. As of Dec 2018, the bank had 542 crypto clients. These include  cryptocurrency exchanges and miners, custodians and global investors.  

Marking an increase of 59-customers since a previous filing as of September 2018. Presently there are over 300 institutional investment funds with aggregate estimated assets under management of between approximately $7.5 billion to $10 billion. Also, over $8.3 billion has till date have been invested in digital currency-related projects. Moreover, this doesn’t include initial coin offering funding, since December 31, 2013.