A report published by research firm CB Insights has found that equity funding has dramatically overtaken initial coin offerings (ICOs) as the dominant means of finance in the blockchain space. While the largely unregulated ICO boom of 2018 raised $7.8 billion, initial coin offering funding fell more than 95% to raise $371 million in 2019. By contrast, equity funding raised $2.8 billion last year. The report also notes the rise of decentralized finance (DeFi), noting that there are currently more than $1 billion in assets on DeFi platforms — up from $300 million as of January 2019.
2019 saw 807 venture deals signed, only a slight drop from 2018’s 822. However, the total sum raised fell roughly 30% from $4.26 billion in 2018 to $2.79 billion last year. VC activity is up significantly when compared with 2017 — which saw $1.25 billion raised from 297. However, the average sum raised by blockchain companies was higher in 2017 with $4.22 million — compared to $3.45 million in 2019. The data also demonstrates “crypto companies’ commitment to funding their own ecosystem,” with NEO Global Capital and Coinbase Ventures comprising the two-most active VCs in the space during 2019. Similarly, while hedge fund investment in blockchain is increasing, CB Insights attributes the funding to funds that specialize in cryptocurrencies.
53% of global venture capital funding in distributed ledger technology (DLT) firms occurred in the United States and China last year. While the combined share of Chinese blockchain funding has returned the same level as in 2015, investment has been steadily moving from the U.S. to China since 2015. In 2015, U.S. blockchain funding represented 51% of the global total, compared to China’s 2%. In 2019, the U.S. accounted for 31% while China had grown to 22%. However, 2019 also saw a rise in funding from emerging blockchain hubs, with both the U.S. and China seeing a slight decline in market share compared to 2018’s 34% and 27%, respectively. 2019 was the first year in which China’s share of global DLT funding decreased.
3 Big Blockchain Firms Working Together On A DeFi Product That Pays Passive Income
In a special announcement made at the Unitize conference on July 6, Cosmos, Polkadot, and Terra revealed a new DeFi savings product called Anchor that aims to offer dependable interest rates on stablecoins deposits. The companies involved in the creation of Anchor plan to launch it across their respective blockchains at the end of Q3 this year and scale across to other PoS blockchains in the future. Do Kwon, founder and CEO of Terra, explained in a prepared statement:
“While DeFi staples such as Maker and Compound have been revolutionary in creating fully decentralized crypto money markets, the volatility of their interest rates makes them unsuitable to be used as a household savings product. DeFi mass adoption needs the creation of a fully decentralized savings account that offers dependable APR.”
Anchor’s smart contracts receive stablecoin deposits and use a portion of them to acquire staking positions on compatible Proof of Stake blockchains. Users will receive their passive income from these staking rewards. The initial governance for this platform will come from the Interchain Asset Association (IAA), a newly formed organization that sees Zaki Manian of Cosmos, Jack Platts of the Web3 Foundation, and Do Kwon of Terraform Labs collectively steering the ship.
Telegram Is Set To Shut Down The TON Testnet By August 2020
Although Telegram has terminated its blockchain project, Telegram Open Network (TON), in May 2020, the TON test net has been apparently running for almost one year. In a July 6 update, the official TON development group on Telegram announced that it would be discontinuing its support of the test network for TON. Remaining TON validators will be turned off by August 1. In the post, the TON official recommended network participants save all their relevant data and stop their testing processes. Despite the testnet being set to shut down less than a month from now, network participants will still be able to continue their experimentation after the testnet is terminated. In order to do that, users can install their own testnet validators, described in greater detail in three different how-to documents containing guidelines for the Full Node, the Validator, and Test Grams.
Telegram launched the TON testnet for explorer and node software on Sept. 6, 2019. In anticipation of its scheduled Oct. 31 launch last year, the company released an alpha version of an iOS wallet to work with its native token, the Gram. But Telegram’s TON plans were never fully realized, as the United States Securities and Exchange Commission suddenly deemed Telegram’s $1.7 billion ICO illegal in mid-October. After a long-running legal battle with U.S. regulators, Telegram agreed to shut down its TON project, as well as return $1.2 billion to investors in line with a court-approved final settlement. As officially announced by Telegram CEO Pavel Durov, the firm had already reimbursed more than $1.2 billion by June 25.
Brock Pierce Enters The 2020 US Presidential Race
Brock Pierce, entrepreneur, crypto venture capitalist, and child star, has announced his USA Presidential run on Twitter July 5. His tweet stated: “
“I, Brock Pierce, am running for President of the United States of America.”
Pierce’s campaign site states that he is a pioneer digital currency and has raised more than $5 billion for the companies he has founded. Pierce is the Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation and co-founder of EOS Alliance, Block.one, Blockchain Capital, Tether, and Mastercoin (first ICO). His website, sparse on details, does not say if he is seeking a nomination in a political party or if he is running as an Independent.