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FINTECH

ConsenSys hits $7 billion valuation as investors pile into Web3

Sovereign wealth funds, other investors and banks will soon have to use cryptocurrencies to buy equity in companies building the decentralized web.

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Photo: iStock

Away from the fretting about soaring energy prices, slowing growth, rising rates, falling equity and bond markets, and whether war in Ukraine may spread, relentless optimism still prevails in one corner of the financial world.

On Tuesday, ConsenSys, the leading Ethereum and decentralized protocols software company, announced a $450 million series-D fundraising that values it at $7 billion.

That is up from a valuation of $3.2 billion just four months ago when it closed a $200 million series C in which HSBC participated behind Marshall Wace, Third Point and ParaFi Capital.

Everywhere now we see evidence of a paradigm shift, as more investors connect to decentralized protocols
Simon Morris, ConsenSys
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Less than a year has passed since the company raised $65 million from backers that included JPMorgan, Mastercard and UBS. Then, the company was delighted to have 3.5 million users of its self-custody MetaMask wallet for holding digital assets.

Come the series B in November, that number had soared to 21 million monthly average users, as holders of crypto ploughed into decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols to earn yield on their investments.

This