The American cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, saw a whopping $300 million in investment in 2018 and now, for the first time, it is revealed that among the participants in the funding round, GIC, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund was involved.
In October of last year, it was reported that Coinbase was the recipient of a $300 million round of funding from a number of influential investors which was led by the New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global Management.
GIC’s investment in the October round was not mentioned among the other names confirmed, including the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain, Y Combinator Continuity, and Wellington Management. GIC being an institutional money manager looked unwilling to enter the cryptocurrency realm, but its participation in the funding of one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world proves otherwise.
The firm was originally founded to manage Singapore’s foreign reserves and, since then, has amassed over $100 billion in assets spread in over 40 countries, as indicated by the GIC website.
Although GIC has not veered into the cryptocurrency realm, it has been involved in the blockchain. In November of last year, the Singapore-based wealth fund joined hands with Temasek Holdings Pte, another government-owned investment firm and backed R3, a blockchain software firm.
Following the October funding, Coinbase surged to a valuation of $8 billion, making it the most highly valued start-up in the United States. Its previous investors, in addition to the ones mentioned above, include the likes of Spark Capital, Greylock Partners, Battery Ventures, Section 32, and Draper Associates.
The $8-billion valuation is even more significant because the investment was during the thick of the storming crypto-winter, which has plummeted the market from a valuation of over $800 billion in January 2018, to under $130 billion a year later.
Coinbase has been making headlines all throughout this week. SoFi, Social Finance, the personal finance company recently announced its partnership with the exchange to launch crypto-trading, on the former’s platform. Through this partnership, SoFi users can purchase cryptocurrencies via the exchange, from the second quarter of this year.
SoFi launched their new arm, SoFi Invest, which will allow cryptocurrency trading and another arm SoFi Money will offer users an Annual Percentage Yield [APY] cash account of 2.25 percent with no fees, in an increasingly competitive market.
Coinbase will aim to attract the younger millennial crowds through this partnership as SoFi focuses on providing student loan refinancing to this demographic group. However, the company has since diversified operations to provide a whole host of refinancing options, including personal loans and mortgage loans.
Furthermore, Coinbase delighted the cryptocurrency community, one army in specific, by announcing that they would finally support the second largest altcoin in the market, XRP. The XRP army was delighted by the addition, and this led to the virtual currency pumping by 14 percent and performing an inverted ‘Bart move,’ while moving up withing $1 billion or Ethereum [ETH] at the time of the rise.
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Graduate of Finance and Economics, interested in the intersection of the world of decentralized currency and global governance.