Circle bags £300m from BlackRock to compete with top stablecoin Tether

Circle

Web3 finance firm Circle has agreed to a $400 million (£307m) funding round as part of a broad strategic partnership with BlackRock.

As the issuer of stablecoin USD Coin (USDC), Circle is responsible for the fifth largest cryptocurrency by market cap alongside a host of decentralised finance (DeFi) tools.

The funding round is expected to close in the second quarter with other investors including Marshall Wace LLP and Fin Capital.

In addition to the capital...

RTFKT Studios acquired by Nike in virtual fashion move

Nike Sneaker

RTFKT Studios, a virtual fashion company, has been acquired by sports giant Nike.

The company, pronounced “artifact”, is largely focused on virtual and augmented reality sneakers that are modelled as 3D assets, turned into NFTs, and authenticated through the Ethereum blockchain.

The purchase marks Nike’s first public step into the world of digital assets and the metaverse, following on from Adidas’ partnership with notable NFT brand Bored Ape Yacht Club earlier...

EV Battery Tech to acquire CryptoPlug for EV crypto payments solution

EV Electric Vehicle Charging

EV Battery Tech, a Canadian battery solutions provider, is set to acquire cryptocurrency app developer CryptoPlug for £4.4 million.

Through CryptoPlug’s app, electric vehicle (EV) drivers will be able to make payments in crypto at EV Battery Tech’s charging station infrastructure.

Aside from payments, the app will also allow users to personalise their electric vehicle’s power requirements around existing infrastructure.

Whilst EV Battery Tech and its...

Mastercard buys blockchain analytics start-up CipherTrace

Mastercard - blockchain

Mastercard has entered into an agreement to purchase blockchain analytics start-up CipherTrace for an undisclosed amount.

The deal marks the latest sign that major corporates are warming towards cryptocurrencies, following similar trends amongst companies like Amazon and PayPal.

Based in California, CipherTrace develops tools and solutions to help government agencies and businesses detect and stamp out illicit digital currency transactions.

The company sits...

Blockchains acquires PayPal-backed Cambridge Blockchain to beef up identity play

Software development company Blockchains has announced the acquisition of Cambridge Blockchain, a Massachusetts-based blockchain identity management and compliance provider.

Cambridge Blockchain, which notably secured funding from PayPal in its series A round last year, has two products which aim to strike a balance between trusted, distributed identity to organisations and returning control of personal data back to users. IDBridge focuses on digital identity management through...

Enterprise blockchain bytes: R3 and IBM collaboration and Calastone acquisition

Blockchain technologies for the enterprise continue to see various updates. IBM and R3 have announced a collaboration to bring the latter's enterprise blockchain platform to IBM, while the acquisition by The Carlyle Group of a majority stake in Calastone has put a focus on its distributed market infrastructure (DMI).

R3 has announced a new open beta program to bring Corda Enterprise to IBM LinuxONE, delivered via IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services, with general availability expected...

ConsenSys to acquire Quorum from JP Morgan in big enterprise blockchain move

ConsenSys is to acquire Quorum, the JP Morgan-developed Ethereum variant, in what promises to be a major development in the enterprise blockchain space.

The deal will see ConsenSys merge its existing engineering roadmap with Quorum, with the latter remaining open source and becoming interoperable with other ConsenSys products, such as Codefi's finance and commerce application suite.

The two companies have been long-standing members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance...

KPMG calls US blockchain investments in 2018 sign of ‘tremendous growth’

US-based blockchain investments in the first half of this year already exceed the annual total of 2017, according to KPMG’s biannual fintech investment analysis report, ‘The Pulse of Fintech 2018’. While the company didn’t report on specific figures, the statement is sufficient to highlight the mass growth of interest in the technology, and follows recent predictions from the International Data Corporation (IDC) that the blockchain industry will see a compound annual growth rate of...