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Victoria's Blockstream has raised $210 million in financing for future growth

Victoria's Blockstream has raised $210 million in financing for future growth

Technology Sector Fintech

Bitcoin infrastructure firm Blockstream, headquartered in Victoria, has announced it raised $210 million in a series B round of financing on a valuation of $3.2 billion.

Investors include U.K. based asset management and ­investment trust company ­Baillie Gifford and iFinex, which is dedicated to crytocurrency exchange.

Blockstream falls into the unicorn category, a term used to describe startups valued at more than $1 billion.

It has 70 to 80 employees based around the globe, with eight in Greater Victoria, and two each in Vancouver and ­Montreal, said Samson Mow, company chief strategy officer.

The company is in the “major leagues” working with ­cryptocurrency products, he said Tuesday.

It describes itself as a global leader in Bitcoin, a type of ­cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology.

“Our suite of technologies enhances the Bitcoin ecosystem, making it easier for individuals and businesses to secure and transact their digital assets,” the company said in a statement.

New financing will support initiatives with the Liquid Network, a network designed to enable fast and confidential Bitcoin transactions and used to issue digital assets for traders and exchanges. It is operated by a federation of cryptocurrency companies. The network is led by a group of cryptocurrency companies around the globe.

Blockstream has acquired Adamant Capital hedge fund with plans to release Bitcoin-based hedge-fund type investment products, and potentially Bitcoin mortgages and loans, Mow said.

It also acquired the intellectual property of Spondoolies, a Bitcoin mining manufacturer, and its team to build a Blockstream ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) arm.

“Blockstream is bringing on board the Spondoolies core team and acquiring related IP (intellectual property) to launch the world’s first enterprise-class miner next year,” said Adam Back, Blockstream chief ­executive.

“The Spondoolies team’s pedigree in Bitcoin ASIC design and engineering complements our enterprise-class mining infrastructure, and will accelerate our continuing expansion and decentralization of the Bitcoin mining space.”

Mow said new capital will be used to build products on Bitcoin and to build an ASIC miner, which is a highly capital intensive business. “It does require a good deal of funding to do chip design and manufacture hardware.”

The goal is to bring the new ASIC miner online and launch it in 2022, he said. “This is a ­massive, massive, massive endeavour.”

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Media Contact : Author: Carla Wilson, Times Colonist

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