Kvě 13

R3 Seeks $200 Million In Funding

Source: bitcoin


The innovation firm R3 CEV is a consortium focused on “empowering the next generation of global financial services technology.” According to the Financial News publication, the New York-based company has just announced its looking to raise $200 million USD from the some of the 42 banks involved with the group.

Also read: Talking Crix with Founder Dmitry Koval

R3 Is Looking For It’s Banking Buddies To Invest

Financial News reports that discussions are just beginning and the group’s developers led by David Rutter have already been simulating the firms proof-of-concept. Back in April, the company revealed some info on its protocol Corda which they’ve been testing for the past six months. R3’s chief technology officer Richard Gendal Brown details in a recent blog post that Corda isn’t like your typical blockchain. The work has been researched and catered to at R3’s development lab and products produced will not be owned by investors.

Distributed ledger technology has offered the world a new look at finance and can change the environment with a multitude of new technology use cases. Legacy institutions who are working with R3 include JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Morgan Stanley, National Australia Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, and more. At R3’s Collaborative Lab, Tim Grant, stated back in March:

“This is the first time many ledgers have been run in parallel by many institutions in a rigorous, scientific way,”

According to the Financial News publication, a source said that one proposed idea on the table to raise money is a ten-year stake in the company and its operations. R3’s development lab was described by David Rutter in an interview with American Banker’s Robert Barba. Rutter explained the lab is under supervision and financial institutions are allowed to participate. Rutter states:

David Rutter, R3 CEV

“It brings a technical discipline to make sure the experiments are run in a controlled fashion. We are taking a thoughtful approach to choosing our use cases in part because we are not venture-backed. We don’t have to spin up some use case and promote how we are going to make billions of dollars in a short period of time. So, build the foundation first, then have a lab where very smart people come in and test proof of concepts. From there, we pick what we build to commercialize it.”

The difference between Corda and your average blockchain is the prototype is designed with industry standards and regulatory processes in mind. There is no native currency and CTO Richard Gendal Brown has established publicly on the R3 blog the Corda protocol is “not a blockchain.” If the company raises the $200 million, it will surely help push this new framework to global institutions. As the Financial Times states the conversation of funding has just begun but the firm is looking for backing from its banking constituents. With the blockchain fervor spreading across the finance world they just might get it.

R3 Is Not the Only Firm Trying to Sell This Technology

However, the R3 consortium has lots of competitors nipping at the blockchain phenomenon. On April 6th, a successful test of blockchain technology and smart contracts were used to manage post-trade lifecycle events for credit default swaps. The test was run by blockchain-based companies Axoni, and Markit amongst some legacy institutions. The banks who backed the working group included Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Citi, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan. So R3 has stiff competition in the privatized digital ledger field with the same financial institutions shopping the fintech market. Alongside these companies, there are others looking to offer enterprise blockchain solutions. Businesses like Chain, Gem, and projects such as Hyperledger are most likely also sweet talking and showcasing product to the same investors. 

What do you think about R3 CEV looking for $200 million in funding? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of R3 CEV websites and Linkedin


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R3 Seeks 0 Million In Funding

Úno 11

CME Funds Cambridge Center of Alternative Finance Research

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_CME Group

Alternative financial solutions are gaining more popularity in recent months, as both consumers and investors are looking for ways to bypass traditional finance altogether. CME Group Foundation has announced they will make a financial contribution to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance to spur future innovation in this sector. Both crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending seem to be of great value to CME Group Foundation.

Also read: Encryption is Keeping Global Leaders In the ‘Dark’

CME Eyes Alternative Financial Solutions

Creating a wide variety of education initiatives in the financial sectors will be of great value to establishing alternative financial services. Not only will there need to be a lot of guidance on the end of startups and entrepreneurs, but consumers will need to be informed of the benefits of these alternative financial solutions as well.

The US$1m grant from CME Group Foundation will be distributed over the course of five years,  and it is the largest financial contribution made by the group outside of the United States. By targeting the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, boosting innovation in the alternative financial industry will gain a more European appeal as well.

The Chairman of CME Group Foundation Jim Oliff stated:

“The Foundation has a long track record of supporting academic institutions on innovations close to the futures and derivatives industry. This partnership will strengthen the research framework around the alternative finance sector and enable further collaboration between academics, policy makers, regulators and industry participants.”

What makes this announcement even more impressive is how the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance [CCAF] will diversify their attention across five regions around the world. Furthermore, the Centre will organize a yearly recurring finance conference, which acts as a platform, to promote research results and discuss opportunities for future innovation.

There is no denying the financial sector as we know are undergoing vast changes. Some financial experts might see this as a transition whereas things are effectively changing on a structural level. Coming up with alternative financial solutions is a difficult task, but the grant provided by CME is a clear vote of confidence for the efforts by the CCAF.

Cambridge Shows Growing Interest in Bitcoin

At the time of publication, it remained unclear as to whether or not the Bitcoin option would be explored by the CCAF. What we do know is that there seems to be a growing interest in digital currency in the Cambridge area, as the local Meetup group has over 300 members right now. Even though there is no Bitcoin ATM available yet, things might be about to change sooner rather than later.

One company seems to be actively trying to spread the word on Bitcoin and digital currency in Cambridge, and that is HelioPay. Not only does this company provide businesses and entrepreneurs with the necessary hardware to accept digital currency payments, but they are also offering staff training.

What are your thoughts on CME Group Foundation funding alternative finance research? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: PR Newswire

Images courtesy of CME Group Finance, CCAF, Shutterstock

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CME Funds Cambridge Center of Alternative Finance Research

Led 29

Different Ways to Raise Funding For A Bitcoin Startup

Source: bitcoin


Starting a company in the Bitcoin world is not that hard these days. All one needs is a good idea, and a proof-of-concept to show this idea is valuable to begin with. But the biggest challenge for most startups is to raise enough funding, as day-to-day operations can be quite costly. Rather than looking for VC funding, there are other alternatives well worth exploring by Bitcoin entrepreneurs.

Also read: OpenBazaar in Depth: Interview with COO Sam Patterson

Raising The Funding For Your Bitcoin Company

When it comes to securing funding for a Bitcoin startup, venture capitalists are the preferred target. Presenting one’s case at any of the Bitcoin conferences around the world is a great way to reach an audience of potential investors, although the end results may vary slightly. Not every concept needs VC backing, though, as there are plenty of other ways to raise funds.

Crowdfunding campaigns in the Bitcoin ecosystem are not all that common just yet, although things are changing. Equity crowdfunding is a particularly interesting trend in the digital currency space these days, where companies will offer a small share of their company in exchange for funding. What makes these campaigns so interesting is how they will get a company lots of press exposure, and there is no need to hunt down individual investors.

Even though most countries around the world are still debating on whether or not they should create a regulatory framework for Bitcoin, there could be a bright future ahead. Bitcoin offers innovation, and any form of innovation should be stimulated through startup grants. It remains to be seen whether or not these perks will ever translate to Bitcoin startups, but it is an alternative form of funding to keep in mind for the future.

Angel investors are quite popular among Bitcoin entrepreneurs these days, as they offer flexible business agreements and bring a strong network of partners to the table. But at the same time, it is difficult to obtain follow-up investments from angel investors. Startup unicorns might be an exception to this rule although they are very uncommon these days.

Last but not least, there is the option of receiving a peer-to–peer loan. Keeping in mind how Bitcoin is all about the peer-to-peer transaction, this type of funding seems to be perfect for digital currency startups and entrepreneurs. These loans provide a fast way to raise capital without sacrificing equity, but they do require some form of collateral in most cases.

There Is No Wrong Approach To Secure Funding

With so many different options at the disposal of startups and entrepreneurs in the Bitcoin industry, there is no wrong way to raise funding. Every individual method has their pro’s and con’s, and cookie-cutter solutions simply do not exist. Different types of businesses will benefit from different approaches.

Raising the necessary funding to get one’s project off the ground is an important aspect of the Bitcoin business world. Just having a bright idea is not enough, as, without money, there is not much progress to be made. That being said, combining several of the options as mentioned above might yield the best results.

How would you go about raising the necessary funding for a bitcoin funding? Are the other ways that are viable as well? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Tech In Asia

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Catalyst Resources

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Different Ways to Raise Funding For A Bitcoin Startup

Led 06

Zebpay Raises $1 Million to Promote Bitcoin Wallet In India

Source: bitcoin

india bitcoin, zebpay

In India, Bitcoin is believed to pose legal, operational and regulatory challenges, according to the Reserve Bank of India. More recently, though, the same bank has endorsed blockchain technology. Riding on the tide of better international understanding of Bitcoin, an Ahmedabad-based startup Bitcoin exchange and wallet known by the name of Zebpay has managed to raise $1 million in series A funding to promote bitcoin and the blockchain throughout the South East Asian region.

India’s First Bitcoin Company Raises $1 Milllion in Funding

The investments received from Arjun Handa, the chief managing director of Claris Life Sciences (Rs 3 crore), Amit Jindal, the director of Jindal Worldwide (Rs 1crore) and Nagendra Chaudhary, the director of Triangle Engineering (1 Rs crore), make up most of the funding Zebpay has gathered. According to the company, a large part of the funding will be used to further develop and innovate on the blockchain technology.

Together with this goal, another part of the funds will be spent to “promote bitcoins as a reliable currency and investment option, enlist more e-vouchers on our mobile platform with a target to expand our user base from 25,000 to around one lakh (100,000) within the next one year and ultimately become a bitcoin payment gateway,” according to Zebpay cofounder, Saurabh Aggarwal.

According to the firm’s co-founder, an even larger part of the funding will be spent on setting up a dedicated blockchain laboratory, where research on the blockchain will be carried out, and where the firm will be able to leverage the technology’s power to innovate upon the current transaction processes. With this in mind, the company is also planning to improve the methods of authentication and the authorization of financial operations.

Unfortunately, at this moment in time, bitcoin awareness in India is extremely low. However, due to India’s massive population, the country has high potential for becoming a hub for the cryptocurrency, just like China, where over 80% of daily trading takes place.

The investment follows the recent RBI bitcoin report acknowledging the importance of private blockchains, which have the possibility of improving the financial system by increasing transaction speeds. The bank also stated that due to the technology’s power to fight issues such as counterfeiting, it can also work towards positively transforming financial markets, payment systems and collateral identification processes.

Based on everything that has been outlined so far, do you think that Zebpay will manage to raise awareness by using the funds received? Will their efforts also encourage the RBI to change its mind on bitcoin? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Source: Twitter

Images from Zebpay.

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Zebpay Raises Million to Promote Bitcoin Wallet In India

Pro 29

Blythe Masters Startup Digital Asset Holdings Struggles For Funding

Source: bitcoin

Blythe Masters Startup Digital Asset Holdings Struggles For Funding

The year 2015 has been quite a significant one for Bitcoin regarding the amount of VC funding flowing into the world of digital currency. However, not every Bitcoin startup is seeing its fair share of success, despite initial excitement regarding what they want to bring to the table. Blythe Masters’ Bitcoin startup – called Digital Asset Holdings – is struggling to secure additional funding,

Also read: Samsung Pay Bringing More Competition to Bitcoin by Enabling Online Shopping in 2016

The Digital Asset Holdings Struggle Is Very Real

When a former JPMorgan Chase star banker is having a hard time securing deals with other investors for her new Bitcoin startup, things are looking rather bleak. Although it has to be said these struggles are in part caused by Blythe Masters herself, as Goldman Sachs and Citigroup found out JPMorgan was getting a better deal compared to other interested parties.

Digital Asset Holdings is looking to explore the boundaries of blockchain technology, which is of great interest to any financial institution around the world. As one would come to expect, among interested parties are other banks and financial firms, some of which are directly competing with Blythe Masters’ former employer JPMorgan Chase.

But there are other factors at play in this story as well. Despite the general interest in blockchain technology, financial players are doubtful about the solutions being worked on by Digital Asset Holdings. Blythe Masters has cobbled together most of her startup’s offering by purchasing smaller startups and companies working on the same goal.

With so much competition in the technology space right now, it is difficult for startups to stand out among other companies. Even the blockchain technology development sector is getting oversaturated at this rate, and many companies have made bold claims they have yet to back up. Investors know this process takes time, but their patience isn’t endless either.

No one doubts Blythe Masters can be a valuable addition to the world of Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Her track record at JPMorgan Chase is quite impressive, as she helped develop the credit default swap in the 1990s. Projecting this knowledge to a different breed of technology will be quite a challenge, though.

Investors Are Not Convinced About The Solution

The major thing when it comes to attracting startup funding is ensuring potential investors like the product or service being offered. In the case of Digital Asset Holdings, investors aren’t convinced the startup is providing a service that will address the real problems in the loan market, let alone improve the situation.

Furthermore, rumours are spreading as to how Digital Asset Holdings is struggling to integrate the technology they purchased from other startups into a whole and complete ecosystem. This leads to a lot of frustration among the acquired employees as well, which is not beneficial to the development of this service.

What are your thoughts on Digital Asset Holdings? Will they secure enough funding to stay in business? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: NY Times

Images courtesy of Digital Asset Holdings, Blythe Masters, Shutterstock

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Blythe Masters Startup Digital Asset Holdings Struggles For Funding