Blockchain Startup Lands $30MM, Big-Name Partners (Sept. 10, 2015)
In another indication of blockchain technology’s potential for payments, a group of major industry players have made a $30 million equity investment in blockchain startup Chain Inc. Among the boldface names taking a stake in the San Francisco-based company are Visa Inc., Fiserv, Capital One, Citi Ventures, French telecom Orange and Nasdaq. Chain’s new partners will form a working group to explore the possible applications of blockchain technology in various markets. Additionally, Jim Robinson—founder of existing Chain investor RRE Ventures and former American Express CEO—has joined Chain’s board of directors.
“Applied intelligently, blockchain networks fundamentally improve how assets move between parties, and we are thrilled to be partnering with the organizations we believe are best positioned to capitalize on the inevitable changes in market structure that are on the horizon,” said Chain CEO Adam Ludwin. Perhaps best known as the technology underlying bitcoin, blockchain has caught the eye of many in the payments industry who see it as having the potential to improve a range of services, from cross-border payments to gift cards, by eliminating third-party intermediaries in favor of cryptographically secured electronic ledgers. Founded just over a year ago, Chain offers blockchain-based solutions to financial institutions. In June, the company announced a partnership with Nasdaq to explore the use of blockchain to trade shares of privately held companies.