Female-backed VC firm Blossom Capital to boost cryptocurrency bets with new fundraise
Blossom Capital has raised $432 million to back early-stage tech startups in Europe, a third of which has been earmarked for cryptocurrency investments, founder Ophelia Brown said in an interview.
Blossom Capital has raised $432 million to back early-stage tech startups in Europe, a third of which has been earmarked for cryptocurrency investments, founder Ophelia Brown said in an interview. London-based Blossom Capital is looking to bolster its investment in the crypto sector, which is increasingly going mainstream from being a niche financial tool. Investing in platforms can be a way of betting on the ecosystem without picking winners among the thousands of digital assets.
“We aren't looking to just invest in crypto assets, we are also eyeing equity stakes in early-stage companies developing crypto infrastructure,” Brown said.
Blossom has invested in the likes of online payments company Checkout.com, whose $40 billion valuation in a funding round this month made it one of Europe's most valuable startups. Other bets include business-forecasting platform Pigment and cybersecurity-automation startup Tines.
The female-backed firm's biggest investment to date is in crypto-payments company MoonPay, which closed a $555 million round in November at a value of $3.4 billion. Despite sharp swings in digital token prices from one day to the next, many venture capitalists are betting that crypto is becoming an unstoppable juggernaut.
“The word is out about crypto and the innovative applications that can be built around the blockchain, so that could inflate values for early-stage companies,” said managing partner Alex Lim. “But our investment horizon is a decade long and we are less concerned about day-to-day volatility.”
U.S. regulators must provide more clarity on crypto rules, says BNY Mellon CFO
(Reuters) - U.S. regulators need to provide more clarity on the rules of the road for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets amid ongoing confusion over what activities are allowed, a top banking executive said on Tuesday.
"We're hoping for more clarity around digital assets," Emily Portney, chief financial officer for Bank of New (BNY) York Mellon Corp, the country's tenth largest lender, told Reuters in an interview.
"Frankly, it's a bit confusing about who actually regulates digital assets and especially crypto … and of course exactly what you can or cannot do," said Portney, speaking after the bank posted a 17% rise in fourth quarter profits.
Portney's comments highlight growing frustration among banking industry executives as U.S. President Joe Biden's regulators have taken a cautious approach to digital assets. With cryptocurrencies surpassing $3 trillion in November, banks are keen to enter the space but many feel they cannot launch new products or expand existing offerings until the rules are clearer.
BNY Mellon, which specializes in holding and servicing assets on behalf of clients, in February announced it was developing a custody and administration platform for digital assets.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said in November that banks must obtain written permission from their bank supervisors before engaging in cryptocurrency-related activities, including custody services, a reversal from the Trump administration's policy which gave banks permission to provide crypto custody services.
The OCC and other regulators are engaged in a “policy sprint” to understand where to offer regulatory clarity for banks on cryptocurrencies. That effort will likely inform new guidance or rules, which could be released as soon as this year.
"A lot of the activity is happening in I guess what I would call the shadow banking system just because of the lack of clarity," said Portney.