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Ethereum Blockchain Developer ConsenSys Raises $65 Million

Matthew Leising
·2 min read

(Bloomberg) -- ConsenSys, the Ethereum blockchain development studio, raised $65 million from investors including JPMorgan Chase & Co., UBS Group AG and Mastercard Inc.

The outside fundraising is the first for ConsenSys since its formation in 2014, a rarity in the crypto world. It comes after the Brooklyn, New York-based based company reorganized last year to separate its software-development unit from its investing and incubation activities, and bought the Quorum blockchain business from JPMorgan.

The $65 million was in the form of a convertible note that wasn’t priced, so there’s no larger valuation for the company at the moment, said Joe Lubin, who founded ConsenSys and was a co-founder of Ethereum.

“We had the ability to build out the things we wanted and do it at a time when it might have been hard to raise VC capital,” Lubin said in an interview. Other investors include Protocol Labs, the Maker Foundation, Fenbushi Capital and Alameda Research.

ConsenSys has released projects such as MetaMask, which makes a browser extension and a mobile app that connects to the Ethereum blockchain with about 3 million active monthly users, and groups of developer tools like Codefi and Truffle. Lubin said all of the $65 million will go toward advancing the software side of the business.

Wall Street and corporate America are paying more attention to blockchain projects and crytpocurrencies than ever before. Visa Inc. said it will use the public Ethereum network for part of its payment systems, and companies from MicroStrategy Inc. to Tesla Inc. are buying and holding Bitcoin on their balance sheet.

ConsenSys has long held a “convergence theory” that it would take a while for consumers and companies to come around to crypto, but they eventually would. That’s starting to bear fruit, Lubin said.

“We’re seeing quite significant convergence at this point,” he said. In another example, ConsenSys is helping Australia, France, Hong Kong and Thailand develop central bank digital currencies.

Read more: Ethereum Races Clock to Collect Enough Coins for Big Upgrade

The Ethereum network is undergoing a transformation to speed up transaction times and change how the blockchain is validated. Called proof of stake, it relies on people pooling their Ether together for a chance to validate new transactions. So far, more than $8 billion in Ether has been deposited to the staking account.

Lubin said he was confident the changes to Ethereum will happen smoothly since one of the hardest parts, the staking, was already done.

“Standing up a new blockchain network and getting $8 billion behind it, like a kind of bond offering, is just mind-blowing,” he said.

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