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Fintech

ConsenSys raises funds from big banks and would-be disruptors

The Ethereum software company is a pioneer of decentralized finance but also works with the conventional lenders and central banks it threatens.

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ConsenSys, the leading Ethereum software company that last year acquired Quorum from JPMorgan, announced on April 13 the close of a $65 million funding round.

The deal didn’t attract quite as much attention as the direct listing the next day of Coinbase. That established a market capitalization of $86 billion for the leading cryptocurrency exchange, founded just nine years ago.

But the investments of three quite different groups of backers in ConsenSys offer an intriguing hint of the potential convergence between decentralized finance (DeFi), run through applications created by crypto-natives on the world’s biggest programmable public blockchain, with the kind of enterprise-scale permissioned-blockchain infrastructure that the biggest firms of the established financial order require to shift their activity onto new rails.

JPMorgan, Mastercard and UBS invested alongside leading blockchain companies such as Protocol Labs, the Maker Foundation, Fenbushi, The LAO and Alameda Research.

Several funds invested with Ethereum-based stablecoins, DAI and USDC.

Additional financial investors, with no dog in the fight between the crypto revolutionaries and the established royalty of global finance, include CMT Digital, Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund, Quotidian Ventures and Liberty City Ventures.

They, presumably, believe there is big money to be made however that battle ends.

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