The famous Alibaba subsidiary Ant Financial recently cashed in on their historic $14 billion Series C funding round which saw the Alipay creator ready to boost its blockchain development.
China’s largest online and mobile payments network which operates Alipay and acquired MoneyGram International last year is focused on using technological advancements in order to better serve its customers. Aside from blockchain, the company is also developing AI technology, IoT projects, and computing fields.
According to the announcement that the company launched a definite agreement with the investors for the Series C with the amount of $14 billion, the funding came from different investors. According to the Wall Street Journal, $11 billion was raised in USD and only $3 billion was raised in RMB.
The lowest investment amount was $200 million and the highest was $500 million in the funding scheme. As an IPO, Ant Financial was looking for a $9 billion investment – compared to the $14 billion that it received as an ICO. Currently, the Chinese company is valued at around $150 billion.
According to the official statement issued by the company:
“The Company will continue to invest in developing its blockchain, AI, security, IoT, and computing capabilities to upgrade its global technology platform for the next generation.”
If Ant Financial goes public, it could definitely be worth more than some of the most hyped US financial firms such as PayPal, BlackRock and Goldman Sachs.
Pantera Capital CEO: ‘If Bitcoin Is Rat Poison, Banks Are The Rats’
Pantera Capital, which is one of the leading investment firms in the crypto space, seems to have an optimistic look at cryptocurrencies despite the current market downturn.
As the CEO and chief investment officer at the firm Dan Morehead stated during a digital asset funds conference this Tuesday, blockchains are the next step in the evolution of equity. In that way, cryptocurrencies are a superior form of currency.
Morehead also called Bitcoin “the biggest disruption of this generation”. As a well-known optimist who stated that the combined crypto market cap could climb to $40 trillion one day, he also pointed out some statements towards the regulation and adoption of cryptocurrencies by banks.
He addressed his thoughts in the same way as Warren Buffett did earlier this year, noting the ‘rat poison squared’ rumor about Bitcoin, stating:
“It is rat poison; it’s just the banks and credit card companies are the rats.”
When asked if now is a good time to buy crypto, Morehead stated:
“That’s actually a good time to increase your position. It is highly likely to be the low point for the industry. My normal view is that it is going to return to its trend”
Morehead remains positive and optimistic about the long-term scenario of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. As he said, blockchains are the “final piece” of the protocol structure that describes the Internet – and a way to move funds without paying high fees.
Bitcoin, according to him, is not a category killer but a “serial killer” which means that it will affect many different use cases.
“I think we’re heading towards a post-capitalist era. Now, we’re going to have ‘cooperatively owned’ technologies that are very valuable.” Morehead concluded.
Ethereum-Backed Platform Plans To Invest $5 Million In Blockchain Gaming Startup
Decentraland is a new decentralized user-owned virtual world built on the Ethereum blockchain which is now planning to invest $5 in order to fund blockchain gaming projects on the Decentraland platform.
So far, Decentraland created the Genesis Content Program which allows developers to submit proposals for “blockchain games” as well as “interactive experiences” built within the platform.
The new plans were first outlined in an article that the company published on Medium, where it said that it plans to “welcome larger and more ambitious projects” to the platform. According to Decentraland, the new program will encourage “innovation and growth in decentralized online gaming” in addition to the $5 million in project financing which will be shared among the top applicants.
Game developers will see a massive benefit here, as they are presented with a new interactive opportunity to design their “virtual experiences” through blockchain-based games. They can provide these experiences on the platform while monetizing them with tokens.
LAND is the new innovation which is basically a virtual place of property that players can purchase through the Decentraland Marketplace. Here, game developers will need to develop their games to “fit the parcel boundaries” of the LAND, making room for more games that will be remotely accessed within the virtual platform (city) and its LAND parcels.
IBM Just Filed A Patent For A Blockchain Database System
One of the biggest industry giants and tech disruptors, IBM, has recently filed a new patent that focuses on certain parts of blockchain technology.
According to one published document, the patent is named “Managing a Database Management System using a Blockchain Database” and fully explains IBM’s intention to build a reliable database tempering detection system (IDT-DS). The system would detect inconsistencies in a set of data stored in a central database which concerns a copy of the same data stored on a blockchain database.
As the patent read:
“Aspects of the disclosure include a method, system, and computer program product for managing a database management system (DBMS). A central database to include a set of central data may be structured with respect to the DBMS. A blockchain database which is linked with the central database may be constructed with respect to the DBMS. A set of blockchain data may be established in the blockchain database corresponding to the set of central data of the central database.”
The system will work in a simple way. In order for it to be accessed, there needs to be an access request to the DBMS. In response to it, both the central database and the blockchain database would be maintained.
First filed in December 2017, this patent got refreshed right now – again proving the mutual interest that IBM has towards blockchain – just like the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which has so far awarded six distributed ledger-related patents in 2018.
With this, IBM has confirmed the giant corporations’ race to patent blockchain – and begun the next big battle among corporations for the upcoming technological revolution which is brought by the blockchain.
Audius: The Blockchain-Based Music Startup That Just Got Funded ($5.5 Million)
Meet Audius – a community-owned music sharing platform that is planning to change the world, one blockchain at a time.
After announcing its platform which is now described as ‘the blockchain’s answer to Soundcloud’, Audius got funded in its Series A – with $5.5 million as it launches the first ever blockchain-based music sharing protocol.
The announcement revealed that the funding round was led by General Catalyst and Lightspeed, with Pantera Capital, 122West, Ascolta Ventures and Kleiner Perkins all being part of the funding.
The best way to understand Audius is through their own description, in which they state that the platform is ” blockchain-based alternative to SoundCloud to help artists connect directly with fans and monetize their work.”
The developers said that its protocol exists in perpetuity and is owned and controlled by a decentralized community of artists, music lovers as well as developers. As such, the platform is planning to disrupt the traditional music-sharing service model which many criticize for its lack of artist control and transparency.
The founder of Audius, Ranidu Lankage, is a Sri Lankan pop artist known for going platinum at 19 with the hit ‘Oba Magemai’ that brought a new age of Sinhalese pop music. There are many other artists which praise Audius’ new platform. One of them is 3LAU, an artist who is famous for his cryptocurrency knowledge and music.
3LAU shared his thoughts on Audius, stating:
“Artists need decentralized models for music sharing, and a stake in the platforms they contribute content to. Blockchain allows Audius to do this with tokens and decentralized voting-based governance so artists have a say in how the platform evolves. It’s a very elegant model and one which, as an artist, I find immensely attractive.”
This makes Audius the perfect solution for every artist who wants to connect directly with fans and distribute content to them without the involvement of a middleman. Just like SoundCloud, Audius has all the features of the building, nurturing and engaging with fans – only with the blockchain added – which preserves the artist’s account with no risk of a third party shutdown.
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