bitcoin, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, digital currency

Widening its bitcoin code base for commercial use, Blockstream has raised $55M for its funding. This makes $76M together in funding in two rounds of investment.

The company has been focused on testing sidechains offering, which provide the opportunity to create blockchains, validating data from, and transfer assets to, other blockchains.

This investment round was supported by the venture capital company AXA Strategic Ventures (subsidiary of a French multinational insurance company AXA Group), Digital Garage (Japan’s online payments company) and Hong Kong venture capital company Horizons Ventures. Moreover, AME Cloud Ventures, Blockchain Capital and Future\Perfect Ventures participated on the project.

Blockstream was looking for broadening of its technology’s versatility, as well as to add to functionality to the bitcoin network via interoperable blockchains.

The fundraising follows the revelation that Digital Asset itself had raised over $60M in one round from fourteen major banks.  Although it was able to attract 14 banks and IBM for its permissioned or private blockchain solutions, Blockstream’s round includes mostly venture capital firms and its technology is focused on the bitcoin network.

South Korea’s Central Bank explores possibilities of taking advantage of a blockchain

The Bank of Korea published a report, where it recommends a wider monitoring of blockchain space development. Dong sup Kim of the bank’s Payment Systems Research Team is the author of the report.

Although the Bank of Korea does not count on wide application of the technology anytime soon, it sees positive side on the use of distributed ledgers in the financial sector.

It expects that the blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt the financial market infrastructure and intermediaries, as well as central banking.

As cited from the report: “In particular, its technological innovation should be appreciated, since financial service would be provided in an efficient and safe manner without relying on an institution responsible for the processing the information.”

Nevertheless, Bank of Korea remains skeptic for now, suggesting that the blockchain technology has various shortcomings that hinder its adoption by financial institutions.

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