Category Archives: Blockchain

These startups are locating in SF and Africa to win in global fintech

To become a global fintech player, locate your company in San Francisco and Africa. That’s the approach of payments company Flutterwave, digital lending startup Mines, and mobile-money venture Chipper Cash—Africa-founded ventures that maintain headquarters in San Francisco and operations in Africa to tap the best of both worlds in VC, developers, clients, and the frontier of digital finance. This arrangement wasn’t exactly coordinated across the ventures, but TechCrunch coverage picked up the trend and some common motives among these rising fintech firms. Founded in 2016 by Nigerians […]

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Coinbase expands USDC stablecoin support to 85 countries

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is ramping up stablecoin support around the world. Customers can now trade USD Coin (or USDC for short) in 85 countries — USDC support was only available in the U.S. excluding NY. You can trade USDC on both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. The company has been aggressive when it comes to international expansion. Coinbase is currently available in over 100 countries — 85 out of 103 countries support USDC. But there’s a trick. Many countries can only exchange crypto assets for other assets — […]

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How a blockchain startup with 1M users is working to break your Google habit

The antitrust argument that says big tech needs breaking up to stop platforms abusing competition and consumers in a two-faced role as seller and (manipulative) marketplace may only just be getting going on a mainstream political stage — but startups have been at the coal face of the fight against crushing platform power for years. Presearch, a 2017-founded, pro-privacy blockchain-based startup that’s using cryptocurrency tokens as an incentive to decentralize search — and thereby (it hopes) loosen Google’s grip on what Internet users find and experience — […]

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Pinterest employee #1 launches blockchain art market MakersPlace

Pinterest is a great place to find digital art but a terrible place to sell it. The fact that anything online is infinitely copyable makes it tough for artists to establish a sense of scarcity necessary for their work to be perceived as valuable. Yash Nelapati saw this struggle up close as Pinterest’s first employee. Now he has started MakersPlace, where creators can generate a blockchain fingerprint for each of their artworks that proves who made it and lets it be sold as part of a limited […]

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ZenGo wants to become the crypto wallet for the masses

KZen is about to release ZenGo, a mobile app to manage your cryptocurrencies securely and more easily. There are already countless crypto wallets out there, but the startup thinks they’re all either too complicated or too insecure. If you own cryptocurrencies, chances are they’re sitting on an exchange, such as Coinbase or Binance. If somebody manages to log in to your account, nothing is stopping them from sending those assets to other wallets and stealing everything. Worse, if somebody hacks an exchange, they could potentially divert cryptocurrencies […]

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Talking the future of media with Northzone’s Pär-Jörgen Pärson

We live in the subscription streaming era of media. Across film, TV, music, and audiobooks, subscription streaming platforms now shape the market. Gaming and podcasting could be next. Where are the startup opportunities in this shift, and in the next shift that will occur? I sat down with Pär-Jörgen “PJ” Pärson, a partner at European venture firm Northzone, to discuss this at SLUSH this past winter. Pärson – a Swede who now runs Northzone’s office in NYC – led the top early-stage investor in Spotify and led […]

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Social investment platform eToro acquires smart contract startup Firmo

Social investing and trading platform eToro announced that it has acquired Danish smart contract infrastructure provider Firmo for an undisclosed purchase price. Firmo’s platform enables exchanges to execute smart financial contracts across various assets, including crypto derivatives, and across all major blockchains. Firmo founder and CEO Dr. Omri Ross described the company’s mission as “…enabl[ing] our users to trade any asset globally with instant settlement by tokenizing assets and executing all essential trade processes on the blockchain.” Firmo’s only disclosed investment, according to data from Pitchbook, came in […]

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eToro bringing crypto trading and wallet to the US

eToro, the social investing and trading platform, announced that it will finally be launching its platform in the US. The platform, which already operates in more than 140 countries, will be available in 30 states and two territories with plans to expand elsewhere in the US after receiving the necessary regulatory sign-offs. The US platform will only support trading for crypto assets at launch, but eToro plans to add additional asset classes within the next 12 months. In eToro’s existing markets, the company’s ten million-plus users are […]

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Red Cat wants to track drone flight data on the blockchain

Red Cat, a startup that wants to store drone flight data on the blockchain to guarantee immutability, announced the second Beta of its drone data platform today. Jeff Thompson, CEO of Red Cat says in 2017 he was looking at what was holding back the commercial drone business and the need for a black-box kind of system became apparent to him. The so-called black box is really a flight recorder that tracks data about a flight. He believed he could create a platform to reproduce this capability […]

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Neutrino employees who once worked for a controversial surveillance tech company will leave Coinbase

Last month, Coinbase’s acquisition of blockchain analytics startup Neutrino was criticized because of the founders’ ties to a controversial surveillance technology company called Hacking Team. Today Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said in a blog post that employees of Neutrino who had previously worked at Hacking Team will transition out of Coinbase, instead of joining its team in London as originally planned. Neutrino maps blockchain networks, focusing on crypto token transactions, and one of its main services is working with law enforcement to track stolen digital assets, investigate […]

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