Blockchain firm ConsenSys raises $200 million from HSBC, Third Point

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LONDON (Businesshala) – Blockchain technology firm ConsenSys said on Wednesday it has raised $200 million at a valuation of $3.2 billion from investors including HSBC and US hedge fund Third Point.

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Blockchain emerged a decade ago as the technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Since then, investors have poured millions of dollars into technology and related companies, believing it will transform industries from finance to commerce.

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New York-based ConsenSys is a leading startup whose CEO and founder Joe Lubin also helped found the ether cryptocurrency.

Its products include MetaMask, an app and web browser extension that lets users hold and manage digital tokens and connect with other blockchain-based applications. ConsenSys said that MetaMask has a total of 21 million monthly active users, which is 38x more than last year.

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Such technology is widely seen as taking center stage in the so-called “Web 3” – an emerging iteration of the Internet where blockchain-based “decentralized” apps and cryptocurrencies are widely used.

In Web3, proponents say, individuals will have more control over data and less loyalty to Big Tech.

“ConsenSys’ MetaMask Wallet and other tools provide a unique platform for consumers, enterprises and developers to connect, build and build on the decentralized web,” said Daniel Loeb, CEO of Third Point.

Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin, is widely viewed as a major part of Web3 as many apps are built on the Ethereum blockchain. Bets on mainstream access to Ether pushed it to an all-time high of around $4,870 this month.

Nevertheless, many large investors are wary of direct investments due to the volatility of cryptocurrencies, with some investing in related infrastructure instead.

Europe’s largest bank HSBC said earlier this year it had no plans to launch a crypto trading desk or offer assets to clients – a move that contrasted with the adoption of the technology by rivals such as Goldman Sachs.

Reporting by Tom Wilson; Editing by Amelia Sithol-Mataris

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