In a press release issued on Wednesday, ConsenSys, a blockchain technology startup, revealed that it had raised $200 million at a valuation of $3.2 billion from investors including HSBC (HSBA.L) and Third Point, a hedge fund based in the United States.
New York-based ConsenSys is a well-known company whose CEO and founder, Joe Lubin, was also a co-founder of the ether cryptocurrency. ConsenSys is headquartered in New York City.
One of the company’s products is MetaMask, an app and web browser plugin that allows users to store and manage digital tokens while also connecting with other blockchain-based businesses. In accordance with ConsenSys, MetaMask has 21 million monthly active users, representing a 38 percent increase over the previous year.
“ConsenSys’ MetaMask wallet and other tools provide a unique platform for consumers, companies, and developers to interact, build, and create on the decentralized web,” stated Third Point CEO Daniel Loeb.
Because a huge number of applications are being developed on the Ethereum blockchain, ether, the second largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin, is sometimes seen as a critical component of the Web3 technology. This month, wagers on ether’s widespread acceptance propelled the cryptocurrency to an all-time high of almost $4,870 per coin.
Because of its high volatility, many institutional investors are wary of direct investments in cryptocurrencies, and some prefer to make investments in associated infrastructure rather than cryptocurrencies themselves.
Announcing earlier this year that it has no plans to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk or to make the asset available to users, HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, followed in the footsteps of competitors such as Goldman Sachs, which have embraced the technology.
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