Blockchain.com

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Blockchain, Inc. d/b/a/ Blockchain.com
Blockchain.com new logo.png
Founded 2011
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Key People Peter Smith, CEO and Co-Founder; Nicolas Cary, Vice-Chairman and Co-Founder; Nicole Sherrod, Head of Trading Products
Employees 110
Products Cryptocurrency wallets, data services
Twitter @blockchain
LinkedIn Profile
Facebook blockchain
Website Blockchain.com
Releases Company News
Blog Blockchain Blog

Blockchain, Inc. provides a variety of cryptocurrency services under the brand name and web address Blockchain.com. It offers cryptocurrency wallets as well as information and analytical services for cryptocurrency markets. It also offers institutions services through its Principal Strategies portal.[1] As of March 10, 2020, it claimed that there more than 46 million of its wallets had been activated.[2]

Company History

Blockchain.com began life as Blockchain.info. By the end of 2013, its eponymous website had grown to be the most popular bitcoin website with more than 3 million unique visitors in November 2013 alone. By the end of November it was the most popular wallet provider having registered 800,000 wallets on the site.[3] Blockchain, Inc. reports on its website that it has created more than 28 million cryptocurrency wallets through which more than $200 billion worth of cryptocurrencies have been transacted.

In major funding rounds in 2014 and 2017, Blockchain.com raised more than $70 million.[4] Blockchain.com reported in June 2017 that Richard Branson, the British entrepreneur who has invested in cryptocurrency markets since at least 2014, had participated in its second, $40 million funding round.[5]

Blockchain.com posted on its website that on June 27, 2019, it had reached a milestone of issuing its 40 millionth wallet.[6]

In February 2021, Blockchain.com raised $120 million in venture capital funding, raising its private valuation to more than $3 billion. The round included investors such as Alphabet's GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, and Lightspeed, Moore Strategic Ventures, hedge fund manager J. Kyle Bass, Access Industries, Rovida Advisors, Lakestar, and Eldridge. Blockchain.com's CEO Peter Smith said that the company did not need to raise money, but wanted to make a deal to further its institutional business. When asked if the company was planning on launching an initial public offering (IPO), Smith said that he and the company's board were "examining all strategic options."[7][8]

Executive exodus

Between 2018 and 2019, a number of executives from Blockchain.com left the company - many of whom had been hired within the past 12 months. In October 2019, The Information reported that Chief Operating Officer Liana Douillet Guzmán and executive vice president of finance Chris Lavery were expected to leave the company. Before them, Blockchain.com's head of institutional sales and strategy, global head of security, and the general manager of its wallet product left their positions with the company.[9]

Products and services

Cloud computing

Blockchain.com has used the Google Cloud Platform throughout its history, explaining that each of the cryptocurrencies that it supports relies on its own individual blockchains with which it must synchronize.[10]

OTC trading services

First announced in a June 2018 blog post on its site, Blockchain.com offers an OTC advisory and trading platform meant for hedge funds, family offices, and sophisticated individual investors called Blockchain Principal Strategies (BPS). Leveraging Blockchain.com's expertise in cryptocurrency security, Peter Smith, CEO and Co-Founder of Blockchain said, “BPS provides clients the opportunity to invest in digital assets with the same peace of mind and security that has become synonymous with the Blockchain name.”[11]

Cryptocurrency trading platform

Claiming that 25% of all bitcoin transactions involve one of its customers' 40 million wallets, Blockchain.com announced in a late July 2019 blog post that it had launched "The Pit," its own high speed cryptocurrency trading platform.[12] The marketplace was designed to execute trades in less than 50 microseconds. To help direct the effort, the company hired Nicole Sherrod, an alumna of ThinkorSwim at Ameritrade, as head of trading products.[13]

Although Blockchain.com relies heavily on cloud services from Google, The Pit's matching engine resides in London at a data center which will allow immediate connections to most of the world’s largest banks and investors.[14]

In January 2020, Blockchain.com launched banking integration for the Turkish Lira to allow Turkish users to deposit and withdraw Lira on the Blockchain.com platform, as well as using the Lira to buy BTC, ETH, and USDT.[15]

Airdrops

Promoting both itself as well as Stellar, Blockchain.com announced on November 6, 2018 that it would airdrop $125 million worth of Stellar (XLM) over a six month period by depositing about $25 worth of XLM into each new Blockchain customer's wallet and otherwise distributing any remaining XLM to current customers. The airdrop started on November 11, 2018. The price of XLM rose about 10 percent after the announcement and maintained the price gain for at least the 24 hours after the airdrop began.[16] Blockchain said it was the largest airdrop ever.[17]

Although Blockchain.com developed a "framework for airdrops" during the Stellar airdrop, since then it has not facilitated another, and has announced no plans to do so.[18] Later, conflicting reports from representatives of the company said that the project was either a success or a failure.[19]

Venture capital fund

In September 2019, Yahoo Finance published a story saying that Blockchain was beginning a venture capital fund, according to two sources. The company plans on using the money from the fund to invest in equity and cryptocurrency startups, and according to the two sources, had already invested in Origin Protocol, Coindirect, Sliver.tv, Nodle, and other cryptocurrency-based startups. The story said that Sam Harrison, former principal at San Francisco-based VC firm Naspers Ventures, was leading this project. Harrison joined Blockchain in July 2018, and helped the company found Blockchain Ventures, according to the Yahoo Finance story.[20][21]

Dollar lending

The company announced on March 10, 2020 that starting immediately Blockchain.com wallet users could borrow U.S. dollar-denominated stablecoins collateralized by bitcoin held in their wallets. The service is called "Borrow." The company said it also plans to introduce loans against Ether, Bitcoin Cash and Stellar.[22] The public announcement did not say which stablecoin would be paid out, but CoinDesk, an online cryptocurrency news service, noted that Blockchain.com wallets added U.S. dollar PAX, the Paxos stablecoin, in 2019.[23] The company's statement ends with the slogan "your keys, your tokens."[24]

Interest accounts

In a May 20, 2020 blog post, CEO Smith said that the company would launch interest bearing accounts for bitcoin deposits. The annual interest rate was set at 4.5%.[25] The interest accounts, which are not available to residents of Canada, Japan and the U.S., are accessed through customers' Blockchain.com wallets and pay interest monthly.[26]

On August 17, 2020 the company made an admittedly promotional offer to pay 6% interest on Bitcoin deposits and 12% interest on deposits in interest accounts of U.S. dollar Tether (USDT) and Paxos coin (PAX) on a variable rate basis. The offer was good for current interest account deposits and new deposits made until August 19. The rates are guaranteed by the company until the end of August.[27]

Key People

  • Peter Smith, CEO and Co-Founder
  • Nicolas Cary, Vice-Chairman and Co-Founder
  • Nicole Sherrod, Head of Trading Products

References

  1. Website of Blockchain, Inc.. Blockchain, Inc..
  2. Home Page. Blockchain.com.
  3. Blockchain.info: the World's Most Popular Bitcoin Website and Wallet. Coindesk.
  4. Overview, Blockchain, Inc.. Crunchbase.
  5. Beyond Blockchain: Richard Branson Faces Hard Realities Of Building A Borderless World. Forbes.
  6. Blockchain Monthly Update: July. Blockchain.com.
  7. Blockchain lands $3 billion valuation after $120 million fundraising. Fortune.
  8. Blockchain.com raised a $120M strategic growth round led by macro investors. Blockchain Blog via Medium.com.
  9. Crypto wallet provider Blockchain is experiencing an executive exodus – Report. The Block Crypto.
  10. Blockchain.com banks on Google cloud to support growth of cryptocurrency management. ComputerWeekly.com.
  11. Blockchain Launches Institutional Product, Blockchain Principal Strategies. Blockchain.com.
  12. Meet The PIT: The World’s Fastest Crypto Exchange. Blockchain.com.
  13. Blockchain.com Enters Crypto Trading With New London-Based Exchange. Bloomberg.
  14. Blockchain.com Enters Crypto Trading With New London-Based Exchange. Bloomberg.
  15. Blockchain.com Launches Full Banking Integration For Turkish Lira To Level Playing Field For turkey's Crypto Traders.... Bloomberg.
  16. Stellar Lumens (XLM) Rises Significantly Thanks To The Ongoing Massive Airdrop. Smartereum.
  17. Introducing: Stellar, now in the Wallet, and $125M of free crypto in your pockets. Blockchain.com.
  18. Top crypto wallet provider Blockchain said to be raising $50M venture capital fund to invest in startups. The Block.
  19. Crypto wallet provider Blockchain is experiencing an executive exodus – Report. The Block Crypto.
  20. Top crypto wallet provider Blockchain said to be raising $50M venture capital fund to invest in startups. The Block.
  21. Sir Richard Branson-backed crypto company raising $50m fund. Yahoo Finance.
  22. #NeverSell — Borrow USD with your Crypto in the Blockchain.com Wallet. Medium.
  23. Blockchain.com Wallet Users Can Now Borrow Against Their Crypto Holdings. CoinDesk.
  24. #NeverSell — Borrow USD with your Crypto in the Blockchain.com Wallet. Medium.
  25. The next era of crypto and 1B wallets by 2030. Medium.
  26. Introducing the Interest Account. Medium.
  27. Earn incredible interest on your crypto. Medium.