Visa leads investment of USD 40 million in cryptocurrency startup
Visa invested an undisclosed millionaire number in the crypto-currency startup Anchorage. The company offers an alternative to cryptocurrency cold custody services.
Visa invested millions of dollars in Anchorage, a startup that holds investments in cryptocurrencies for institutional investors. The two companies are founding members of Facebook’s high-profile cryptocurrency project, Libra.
Visa was one of the leaders of the new round of financing for Anchorage, with a value of USD 40 million, together with Blockchain Capital, a venture capital firm focused on cryptocurrencies. This is the second investment that Visa has made in a cryptocurrency startup. The first one was made four years ago at Chain, a business blockchain company acquired in September by Lightyear, a startup affiliated with the Stellar cryptocurrency.
Anchorage was little known before June 18, when its logo appeared alongside prominent names such as Mastercard, PayPal, Uber, Spotify and, in particular, Visa, on a presentation slide of the Libra Association. Facebook promoted the creation of the association, a Swiss non-profit organization composed of 28 organizations with plans to grow up to 100 members for next year, to support their ambitious plan for a global cryptocurrency.
Terry Angelos, who leads Visa’s efforts in financial technology, or FinTech, said in a statement that Visa is interested in supporting “companies like Anchorage that are working to provide secure infrastructure to the growing ecosystem of digital assets.” He also said Anchorage “is building the foundation to support a series of new financial services.”
The exact size of Visa’s contribution, as well as the private valuation of Anchorage were not disclosed.
Diogo Monica, the co-founder and president of Anchorage, said that his team has been working with Facebook in the design of the technical basics of Libra’s cryptocurrency “from day one, which were basically just two people on Facebook.” Those two people were David Marcus, a Facebook executive who runs the Libra project, and Morgan Beller, co-creator of Libra who heads the strategy of Calibra, a Facebook subsidiary focused on Libra, Monica said.
The Anchorage product offers an alternative to “cold storage,” a security measure that investors often rely on for secure storage of their cryptocurrency properties. Cold storage custody, as it is called, usually involves the storage of so-called private keys, strings of letters and numbers similar to the passwords that grant ownership of the cryptocurrency, in off-line and difficult locations. access, such as the interior of the mountains or the security deposit of the banks.
Anchorage, has about 35 employees, so far accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum and more than 50 cryptocurrencies. Monica said she plans to use the new funds to continue adding more cryptoactives to the portfolio, as well as new features such as exchange of cryptocurrencies and automated audit tools for accounting books and tax preparation.
Anchorage has raised a total of USD 57 million in two rounds of financing to date, including the last injection of cash.
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