Anybody else old enough to remember the argument that while blockchain technology probably had value, actual cryptocurrencies were already passé?
In a round led by Coatue, Ribbit, and Stripes, digital asset infrastructure specialist Fireblocks has secured $133 million in new capital to power its mission to make it easier for banks to get into the digital asset space.
“Fintechs and banks require not only a specialized custody and settlement infrastructure to ensure customer funds are safely managed, but (also) a platform that enables new lines of digital offerings,” Fireblocks CEO Michael Shaulov said. He noted that while the company has no plans to become an actual bank itself, “we believe our infrastructure will lend itself perfectly to power an entirely new era of financial services.”
Also participating in the round as strategic investors were The Bank of New York Mellon and SVB. A number of Fireblocks existing investors also contributed to the round, including Paradigm, Galaxy Digital, Swisscom Ventures, Tenaya Capital and Cyberstarts Ventures. The investment brings the fintech’s total capital raised to $179 million.
Founded in 2018, Fireblocks launched as a digital assets infrastructure company helping crypto-based institutions and exchanges move, store, and issue digital assets. As interest in digital assets – especially cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum – has surged, Fireblocks has begun to leverage its talent and technology in digital assets to enable banks and other financial institutions to bring cryptocurrency access to their customers. By linking to its Fireblocks’ platform, banks and fintechs will be able to deploy a wide range of solutions – from custody, tokenization, and asset management to trading, lending, and payments – on both public and private blockchain networks.
The company’s investors highlighted Fireblocks’ capacity to enable banks and other financial institutions to efficiently and securely take advantage of the opportunity of and interest in digital assets. CEO of Asset Servicing and Head of Digital for BNY Mellon Roman Regelman said that bridging the gap between traditional and digital assets is “foundational to the future of custody.” Coatue Managing Partner Kris Fredrickson concurred: “our belief (is) that a new financial ecosystem is emerging and (companies) like Fireblocks are essential.”
Last month, Fireblocks announced a partnership with digital payment- platform-as-a-service company, First. Together, the companies introduced a secure wallet and infrastructure solution to enable financial institutions to facilitate transactions via the Diem network. Fireblocks began the year collaborating with global fintech Ibanera to help its customers safely transfer crypto funds in real-time.
Since inception, Fireblocks has secured the transfer of more than $400 billion in digital assets. The company is headquartered in New York City.