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Top 6 Biggest Crypto M&A Deals By Purchase Value

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crypto mergers and acquisitions

The blockchain and crypto space has undergone considerable changes in the ten years since its inception. From being a novel idea in the financial sector to making waves in scores of industries on a global platform, crypto and its underlying blockchain technology grew at an unprecedented pace for many. 

Despite these radical developments, the blockchain and crypto space is still in its nascent stages and as with any nascent industry that shows promise, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the space, may herald the market is maturing and consolidating. 

Top Six M&A Deals by Purchase Value

InWaraDespite the blockchain and crypto market being in the doldrums, last year witnessed an impressive 111 M&A deals valued at $900 million in total, according to data compiled by InWara. These are the top six deals in the marketplace in terms of funds raised.

Shandong Luyitong Intelligent Electric and Canaan Creative

In June 2016, Shandong Luyitong Intelligent Electric’s acquisition of Caanan creative for a hefty $466 million, takes the cake for the largest M&A deal in the crypto space. Canaan Creative is a cryptocurrency hardware company that focuses on mining rigs and blockchain servers, while Shandong focuses on electronic equipment manufacturing. Ironically, the largest M&A deal in the crypto space concluded between two Chinese companies, where regulatory authorities have outlawed cryptocurrencies.

Circle and Poloniex Exchange

In February 2018, Internet finance company Circle had acquired cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex, for a whopping $400 million. Circle is essentially a payments platform that leverages blockchain technology. The company later expanded into crypto investments and trading with Circle invest and CIrcle trade respectfully.

Tron and BitTorrent

In June 2018, Blockchain enterprise Tron had acquired P2P file sharing platform BitTorrent for a cool $140 million. Tron is a blockchain company that aims to create a conducive environment for a truly decentralized internet. The strategic rationale behind Tron’s acquisition becomes clear when crunching numbers. BitTorrent has over 150 million monthly active users, and the company claims it moves as much as 40% of the world’s internet traffic. BitTorrent recently conducted an ICO, which concluded in under 15 mins and raised over $7 million.

Coinbase and Earn.com

In April 2018, digital currency exchange Coinbase has acquired networking platform Earn.com for $100 million. In retrospect, Coinbase has been aggressively acquiring blockchain and crypto enterprises, making eleven acquisitions till date. The latest is that of data handling startup Blockspring for an undisclosed amount.

Nexon and Korbit

In September 2017, gaming behemoth Nexon had acquired South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Korbit for $80 million. This deal was noteworthy as it marked an established Korean enterprise stepping into the crypto space. Korbit claims to be the world’s first Korean Won cryptocurrency exchange, and it managed to raise as much as $6.5 million in capital from veteran blockchain and crypto investors including Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital and Softbank Ventures Korea among others.

Huobi and Pantronics Holdings

In August 2018, blockchain financial services company Huobi had acquired investment holding company Pantronics Holdings for $70 million. This deal allows Huobi, a privately held company to go public without conducting an IPO, through what is known as a reverse IPO.

# of M&A deals, year wise

InWara

Source: InWara

Unsurprisingly in the crypto market, as with any nascent industry, the number of M&A deals has consistently surged higher than the previous year. This increased rate of consolidation could indicate that the market is maturing and stabilizing as the market recuperates from the lingering ‘crypto winter’.

# of M&A deals, sector wise till date

InWara

Source: InWara

The top industry sectors has 183 M&A deals between them, which is akin to over 66% of the total M&A activity in the entire space.  Financial services sector leads the pack with 37 M&A deals, akin to ~13.5%. This trend is not surprising as financial services is the leading sector in the ICO space, in terms of sheer number as much as 579 ICOs and in terms of funds raised, over $3.6 billion till date.

A brief view of 2019

So far in 2019, there were some interesting developments heralding further consolidation in the crypto space. The following are the major M&A deals.

  • Social media giant Facebook acqui-hired Chainspace, a Blockchain startup founded by researchers at University College of London. Earlier Facebook also revealed plans of introducing a stablecoin on Whatsapp messenger platform to target Indian remittances market.
  • Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has acquired, UK based Crypto Facilities for an amount north of a $100 million, as Kraken revealed in a blog post.
  • Mastercard and Visa in the midst of bidding war for cross-border payments platform Earthport according to Reuters.
  • Coinbase had acquired, blockchain API platform Blockspring for an undisclosed amount.
  • Bakkt acquired certain assets owned by Rosenthal Collins Group.
  • EZAdvance acquires Indian digital payments Startup Alconomy, to expand into digital banking.

The number of M&A deals in 2019 is likely to follow the same trend as previous years, expecting further consolidation in the space. This year might also witness tech giants such as Google and Amazon among others to enter the blockchain and crypto space, as the enterprises aim to leverage blockchain technology to increase trust, transparency, and security.

This guest contribution was provided by Sushrut Gaikwad, Director, Operations and Research at InWara. 

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46 Companies Join Binance Charity to Launch Stablecoin in Support of Feminine Health

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Binance Charity

An alliance of blockchain companies has joined forces to support a philanthropic project focused on the African continent. Led by Binance Charity Foundation (BCF), the charitable arm of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, the initiative will involve the issuance of Pink Care Token (PCAT), a stablecoin that will operate on Binance Chain.

BinanceThe project will help channel funds to Uganda for the purchase of sanitary products, which many women lack access to. The first batch of Pink Care Token and sanitary pads is scheduled for delivery in the country in mid-July in Uganda, with the aid of government ministers.

“Pink Care Token is the first social-impact stablecoin issued on Binance Chain. A part of our mission is to promote cryptocurrency adoption, and I think charity is one of the most efficient ways to bring cryptocurrency value to more people,” said Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ).

Leading blockchain and financial companies that have pledged their support for the initiative include Ripple, Tron, Vechain, Matic, Arrington Capital, and Celer. As the size of the cryptoconomy has grown, delivering outsized returns to its early believers, many supporters within the ecosystem have sought to share their success with the world through altruistic means.

Despite their global nature, crypto assets have yet to permeate many of the world’s most underdeveloped nations, where access to food, shelter, and medicine remain challenges that must be overcome in addition to realising full financial access. Initiatives such as Pink Care Token provide an effective way of helping communities in some of the world’s most impoverished regions while capitalising on the transparency that is one of the hallmarks of the blockchain technology that underpins the industry. All of the funds that are contributed to the project and delivered in Uganda can be tracked on-chain.

Contributors are encouraged to join the campaign by donating at:
https://www.binance.charity/period-poverty

Funds will go towards ending ‘period poverty’ through providing sanitary products for Ugandan women, improving their quality of life and providing a clear demonstration of what the crypto industry can achieve through multilateral philanthropic efforts such as BCF’s Pink Care Token.

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Luno Survey Shows Low Consumer Confidence in Current Financial System

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Low Consumer Confidence

As the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference celebrated its 75th anniversary on July 1, Luno released findings indicating that consumers from emerging markets have low confidence in the current financial system. The conference, also known as the Bretton Woods Conference, established the financial system we use today in 1944.

The Future of Money Survey

LunoLuno’s Future of Money survey discovered that security is one of the areas of concern in the current financial system. These views were given by 36 percent of respondents from South Africa, 35 percent from Nigeria, and 24 percent from the UK. The other areas of main concern are transparency and economic benefit.

Marcus Swanepoel, CEO of Luno, said: “The survey results show that emerging markets are seeking a change to the financial system which was created 75 years ago. The increase in population, changes to the distribution and inequality of wealth, at a time of tremendous steps forward in technology means that the current financial systems need to undergo another Bretton Woods moment.”

Furthermore, the survey showed that consumers from emerging markets have a more developed understanding, protection, and knowledge of money compared to those from developed markets. This is because they do not have direct access to wealth, the report explained.

Struggling Economies

Although our current financial system was established 75 years ago, many countries are still struggling economically. According to the survey, 27 percent of South Africans and 23 percent of Nigerians felt that their economies were performing poorly. This view was held in rural areas more than in urban areas because the former has inadequate financial systems.

Moreover, 23 percent of respondents in Nigeria and 22 percent of respondents in South Africa said it was challenging for them to send money overseas.

“We have seen little change to the global monetary system over the last 75 years, particularly amongst developed economies where financial institutions have built a system around the transfer of currencies, assets, and commodities which benefit a stable and strong economy. As technology advances, it is important that institutions globally find a way of adopting these advancements, enabling emerging markets to have the same access to money and transfer of assets,” Swanepoel stated.

The survey further revealed that 91 percent of South Africans pay for a personal bank account while 75 percent use mobile banking. Additionally, South Africa had the second highest percentage of respondents that said they invest in products such as mutual funds and stocks.

Luno is a global crypto company that carried out the Future of Money survey to understand the world’s view of the current financial system. The survey questioned more than 7,000 people from South Africa, Nigeria, Italy, Malaysia, the UK, France, and Indonesia.

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Youngest Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur in Africa Leads Education Drive in Ghana

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BlockXAfrica

Ghana and the rest of Africa continue to lack behind in bitcoin usage and adoption. Despite the fact that Ghana led the Google Trends chart for the keyword “bitcoin” recently and continues to be part of the top three on the same chart, the West African nation has recorded very low patronage of blockchain technology.

BlockXAfricaIn light of this, the ​Youngest Bitcoin Entrepreneur in Africa​, Elisha Owusu Akyaw, who started his journey of innovation in the blockchain space at the age of 16 seeks to promote bitcoin and blockchain adoption in Ghana through an education campaign.

The young Ghanaian has made headlines with his work in the industry, being described as the youngest “Bitcoin Entrepreneur” and was listed as part of the ​Top 20 Blockchain Influencers in Africa​ by BitcoinAfrica.io.

Elisha’s education drive will be done under the BlockXAfrica brand. BlockXAfrica is a Ghanaian based blockchain startup that seeks to bridge the blockchain and cryptocurrency education gap through advocacy, collaboration, and innovation.

BlockXAfrica believes that blockchain has a lot of potential in accelerating the development of Ghana, including fixing our financial woes through cryptocurrency usage, checking corruption through blockchain backed record systems, fixing our birth and death registry with blockchain solutions and more.

BlockXAfrica is made up of a group of young people from Ghana with the aim of teaching, advocating and spreading the gospel of cryptocurrencies. The aspiring blockchain advocacy powerhouse intends to do this through strategic educational campaigns and social intervention programs & projects.

BlockXAfrica’s education campaigns seek to enlighten people on the importance of cryptocurrency and its various use cases across the continent while addressing the various cryptocurrency scams that have invaded the industry in Africa which is one of the highest contributing factors to distrust in the technology by promoting tested industry standards.

Aside from education, ​BlockXAfrica​ will also be partnering with local developers to create innovations backed by blockchain technology to solve various social issues in Ghana. What’s more, the company will be donating some of its proceeds to charities across the country, as a way to show the masses how blockchain can change lives.’

BlockXAfrica organised its first meetup during the last weekend and plans to embark on a tour across the country.

The guest post was contributed by BlockXAfrica. 

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