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区块链国际资讯

谷歌、高盛跻身全球顶级区块链机构投资者行列

数据公司 CB Insights近日发布的一份报告显示,谷歌和高盛是当前全球投资区块链公司最活跃的两家机构投资者。

区块链是加密货币(例如比特币)的底层技术。这种技术可以用于金融、保险等多个行业的开发,使整个使用过程更加低价快速。

根据这份报告,全球投资区块链技术公司的机构投资者,在今年达到创纪录的91家,仅次于风投公司的95家。

今年以来,机构已向区块链技术公司完成了了42次股权投资,总金额达到3.27亿美元。仅次于2016年全年的3.9亿美元。

日本金融服务公司SBI是最活跃的机构投资者,已经投资了8家区块链技术公司,其中包括银行财团发起的研究新区块链应用的公司R3和加密货币交易平台Kraken。

谷歌是第二大活跃的机构投资者,其投资者了比特币钱包公司Blockchain以及利用区块链技术进行资产转移的Ripple公司。

Overstock.com是第三大机构投资者,花旗银行和高盛分列第四和第五。两家公司都投资了由摩根大通前高管Blythe Masters创立的数字资产公司(Digital Assets Holding)。

CBI调查在报告中表示,“大银行和金融服务机构是第一批对区块链技术进行直接投资的机构。考虑到区块链技术本身在技术和受欢迎程度上的影响,这一切毫不意外。”

大型金融机构正在从交易金融到转账等各个方面试验利用区块链技术。自2014年6月,美国按资产计的前10大银行已经对6家区块链公司进行了9轮投资,投资达到2.67亿美元。

与此同时,很多银行也是各种致力于探索和发展区块链技术联盟的一部分。超级账本(Hyperledger),企业以太坊联盟(EEA), Ripple和R3都是和银行有合作的公司。

首次公开募币的过度资本化风险

区块链公司的不断增加以及该技术所蕴含的科技让其他的外部投资者越来越疯狂,例如风投和所谓的首次公开募币。

按照当前的速度,2017年将有188笔对区块链技术的投资,总金额超过8.3亿美元,而2016年这一数字分别为133笔和5.45亿美元。行业中出现了一些大交易,例如R3募集到了1.07亿美元,以及Coinbase的1亿美元。

另一方面,与新股上市相似的首次公开募币的发展速度也非常快。首次公开募币筹得的资金在2017年第二季度首次超过了传统股权投资募集的资金。根据追踪首次公开募币网站Coinschedule的追踪,通过首次公开募币筹集到的资金超过30亿美元。一些最大的首次公开募币平台,例如Filecoin募集了2.57亿美元,Tezos获得了超过2.3亿美元的资金。

CB调查警告,“首次公开募币的疯狂存在着过度资本化的风险,一些平台获得资金过多且过快。”

区块链技术公司失败率上升

过去几年中,通过传统的股权交易方式获得种子基金或是早期融资的区块链技术公司数量正在下降。但是这些公司破产的风险要比其他行业的初创公司更大。

2013年至2014年间,103家获得了天使基金或是种子基金筒子的公司,仅有28家之后成功获得进一步的资金。相比之下,CB调查追踪的2008年至2010年间1098家获得种子基金投资的科技公司中,46%的公司之后获得了第二轮融资。

报告指出,“区块链行业的整合度可能更加紧密,区块链技术公司的失败率要超过其他领域的科技初创公司。”(Oscar)

Google and Goldman Sachs are two of the most active corporate investors in blockchain companies, according to a report.

Blockchain is the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. But it is also being developed for use in a variety of industries from finance to insurance, promising cheaper and faster processes.

The number of corporate investors in blockchain companies hit a record high of 91 this year, just behind the 95 venture capital firms in the space, according to a report by data firm CB Insights published Tuesday.

So far this year, there have been 42 equity investment deals by corporates, totaling $327 million. This is just behind the $390 million for the whole of 2016.

Japanese financial services firm SBI Holdings is the most active corporate investor, having stakes in eight blockchain firms. These include R3, a consortium of banks working on new applications for blockchain technology, and Kraken, which is an exchange for people to trade cryptocurrency.

Alphabet-owned Google is the second-most active corporate, with investments in bitcoin wallet company Blockchain, and Ripple, a company that is working on money transfers using blockchain technology.

Overstock.com is third, while U.S. banks Citi and Goldman Sachs are in fourth and fifth place respectively. Both companies have investments in Digital Asset Holdings, which is run by former JPMorgan Chase executive Blythe Masters.

"Big banks and financial services firms were the first corporate players to make direct blockchain investments en masse — unsurprising, given how Bitcoin's underlying technology lends itself, both technically and in popular thought, to financial services," CB Insights notes in its report.

Large financial institutions are experimenting with ways that blockchain technology could be used, from trade finance, to moving money.

Since June 2014, the 10 largest U.S. banks by assets have participated in nine rounds totaling $267 million in disclosed funding to six blockchain companies, the report said.

At the same time, many banks are part of consortia aimed at exploring and developing blockchain technology. Hyperledger, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Ripple and R3 are all consortia working with banks.

ICOs risk 'over-capitalization'

The rising number of blockchain companies and interest in the technology has also brought bigger investment from other sources such as venture capitalists and so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs).

At the current run rate, 2017 is on pace for 188 equity deals worth more than $830 million, up from 138 and $545 million in 2016, CB Insights said. Mega deals such as the $107 million raised by R3 and the $100 million raised by Coinbase have helped to boost the figure.

But ICOs, where start-ups issue new tokens, similar to shares, in exchange for funds, have been growing rapidly. Total funds raised by ICOs surpassed the total funds raised via traditional equity financing for the first time in the second quarter of 2017, CB Insights said. More than $3 billion has been raised via ICOs, according to Coinschedule, a website that tracks the offerings.

Some of the biggest ICOs include Filecoin, which raised $257 million, and Tezos, which got over $230 million in funding.

But with the ICO craze also comes the risk of "over-capitalization" with teams "receiving too much money too quickly," CB Insights warned.

Blockchain firms 'failing at a higher rate'

The number of companies raising early-stage or seed funding via traditional equity deals, not ICOs, has declined over the past few years.

But the risk of these companies failing is much higher than start-ups in other industries.

Of 103 blockchain companies that received initial seed or angel funding in 2013 to 2014, only 28 managed to raise further money. In comparison, of the 1,098 tech companies CB Insights tracked that raised seed rounds in the U.S. between 2008 and 2010, 46 percent raised a second round of funding.

"Blockchain's consolidation may be tight, with blockchain companies failing at a higher rate than tech startups in other areas," the report said.


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