An illustration showing the cryptocurrency bitcoin with a price chart in the background.
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Funding for blockchain start-ups topped $4 billion for the first time in the second quarter, despite a sharp slump in cryptocurrency prices.
Companies in the nascent industry raised a record $4.38 billion, according to data from analytics firm CB Insights, up more than 50% from the previous quarter and a nearly ninefold increase from the same period a year earlier.
Blockchain is the underlying technology behind most cryptocurrencies. It’s essentially a digital ledger of virtual currency transactions which is distributed across a global network of computers.
The largest financing round for a blockchain company in the second quarter was a $440 million investment in Circle, a payments and digital currency firm. Circle recently announced plans to go public through a $4.5 billion merger with a blank-check company.
Ledger, which develops hardware wallets for people to store their digital currencies, attracted the second-biggest round in the quarter, raising $380 million. In a December interview, Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier told CNBC the crypto market was maturing, with major institutional players getting involved.
“In 2018, when we raised our last round, financial institutions were not in the game,” he said, adding that now, “every major financial institution in the world either has a plan or is working on a plan” to invest in crypto.
The record funding highlights how investors are finding alternative ways to