Coinbase Generated $2 Billion in Revenues from Transactions Since 2012

Co-founder and CEO of major US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Brian Armstrong has revealed that the firm has been profitable since 2017 and has generated close to $2 billion in transaction fees revenue since its launch in 2012.

Speaking at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit on October 23rd, Armstrong has stated that the exchange has generated more operating profits than the funds it raised from venture capitals.

He further noted that the exchange has turned a profit the last three years, including during the 2018 bear market, and has earned more operating profit than venture capital raised so far, estimated at nearly $550 million in nine funding rounds, according to CrunchBase.

“We were profitable in 2018 and in 2017,” and as well as this year, he stated. However, instead of paying out to the investors, the exchange is focusing on putting the profits in its expansion.

 “Most of these profits we’re plowing back into the business to create new products. […] I sort of think of us as the anti-unicorn unicorn… I want Coinbase to be a company of repeatable innovation.”

Armstrong further added that it’s due to technology, which has always been the focus of Coinbase that the exchange has managed to remain profitable.

The San Francisco-based exchange is continuously adding digital coins to offer more options to its crypto traders. Moreover, as a way to boost the crypto ecosystem, the exchange is also heavily investing in startups that work in the development of blockchain technology.

Coinbase was founded in 2012 and is now one of the eight blockchain unicorns globally. The exchange offer a wide range of crypto-based services for both retail and institutional traders. Coinbase was valued at $8 billion in its last funding round, raising money from investors which include Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, and Polychain Capital.

Meanwhile, Coinbase is currently part of Facebook’s cryptocurrency initiative – Libra. When asked about the future of the project, CEO Armstrong replied that he doesn’t know why regulators’ response to the project were preponderantly negative, adding:

“I’d really like to see the U.S. embrace this area of innovation. […] My hope is the U.S. embraces this kind of innovation, even if it comes from a company like Facebook that they’re not necessarily very happy with.”

Coinbase is currently one of the 21 remaining companies included in the Libra Association. The association has been under scrutiny by lawmakers across the world for its potential to put at risk user privacy as well as diregard regulatory rules. Most recently, Libra has lost seven high-profile contributors such as Visa, eBay, Mastercard, PayPal and others.

Earlier this month, Coinbase acquired an Irish e-money license from the Central Bank of Ireland, effectively expanding its European operations. Following this, the cryptocurrency exchange is certified to offer money and banking services throughout the European Economic Area and the EU.

New Cryptocurrency Venture Fund from Morgan Creek Raises $60 Million

Cryptocurrency asset management firm – Morgan Creek Digital – has raised over $61 million of its $250 million target for its second venture capital fund, which aims to explore opportunities using distributed ledgers.

According to reports, the firm had submitted filing – a Form D, which requests an exemption for the offering – for its second blockchain fund with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to the filing, the fund started its first offering on October 16th and is still ongoing. So far, the firm has managed to raise nearly $61 million from a total of 11 investors.

Morgan Creek co-founder Anthony Pompliano has revealed in an interview that the ultimate goal of the fund is to raise $250 million.

During its first phase, the crypto asset management firm managed to pull in $21 million. Fairfax County’s Virginia’s Police Officer’s Retirement System and Employees’ Retirement System were the two leading investors in the first tranche that greatly contributed to the funds raised.

Now during its second round, it has been disclosed that the two investors have more than doubled its investment during the second tranche, increasing its $21 million to $50 million.

Contributions from other institutional investors including Wakemed Health and Hospitals make up another $10 million, bringing the current funding to $60 million.

Pompliano stated, upon revealing that two key investors more than doubled their investment:

“We also have what we believe is the first hospital system in the United States to participate in a dedicated blockchain fund called WakeMed.”

He further added that the second fund will likewise be primarily focused on seed investments in equity, which include investments in what Pompliano called “blockchain infrastructure” companies like Bitwise and BlockFi. The firm is also looking for entrepreneurs who are in the initial stage of building their companies to support them with the resources raised.

At the moment, the firm hasn’t announced a final date for the funding. However, Pompliano stated that he is confident about how everything has unfolded so far, citing the quality of investors that have joined the fold.

“We hear folks saying institutions aren’t interested, but this initial close along with the conversations we’re having with tens of other institutions shows that there is no lack of interest. When you see the quality of the LPs in this fund, it speaks to the work that these infrastructure companies have done over the last 18 to 24 months.”

Meanwhile, Jason A. Williams – Pompliano’s colleague, co-founder, as well as partner at Morgan Creek Digital – has recently shared his optimism about Bitcoin’s (BTC) price skyrocketing next year as the leading cryptocurrency will be halving by that time. He strongly believes that BTC’s value will climb from its current $8,000 price to $55,000 after the event takes place. Judging by the first two halvings, which have certainly brought Bitcoin’s value up by ridiculous margins and if history is to repeat itself, then Williams’ prediction might come true.

Opera Introduces Bitcoin Payments to Its Browser

Web browser Opera has announced its latest update where users can transact and make payments in Bitcoin directly through its Android browser.

Bitcoin Payments with Opera

The new features have been successfully integrated following a beta phase announced in July 2019, which first allowed users to send and receive Bitcoin from its Crypto Wallet product, a wallet built into the Android version of Opera.

In addition to that, the browser supports TRON (TRX) transactions. Before the beta release, the Crypto Wallet only provided support for Ether (ETH) and other ERC-20 tokens. The addition of Bitcoin is a vital change as it better positions the browser to gain traction in the expanding Web 3.0 market.

Charles Hamel, head of crypto at Opera, commented on the new feature launch:

“We believe that opening our browser to more blockchains, including Bitcoin, is the logical next step to making our solution more relevant to anyone who has a Bitcoin crypto wallet and would like to do things with their cryptocurrencies beyond just keeping them in an account.”

Opera’s Android wallet not only supports Bitcoin transactions – it also allows users to make payment for goods and services. Opera users who have a Bitcoin credit/debit card associated with their funds can also connect it with the wallet and use it for making online purchases.

Opera Focusing on Web 3.0

Opera is in the race to gain a foothold in the web 3.0 market. The company has a wide portfolio with products that accommodate crypto-natives including the android browser, crypto-friendly iOS app as well as a desktop browser with native digital asset support.

Opera has also actively participated in the evolution of the web, with the creation of high-quality content around blockchain, decentralized computing and digital assets.

Opera’s market share has fallen behind in the past decade, with only 3% as of September 2019. The browser hopes to gain a competitive advantage with its web 3.0 efforts and contribute to the adoption of cryptocurrencies.

As Hamel previously claimed, the company aims to remove the friction involved in using cryptocurrencies online.

“The browser is the ideal candidate for integrating cryptocurrencies as it is the gateway to so many things in the user’s life,” said Hamel.

Bitmain Unveils US Mining Facility for Digital Assets

Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain has unveiled a new US facility which they claim to be the largest mining facility for Bitcoin (BTC) in the world. Bitmain established the new mining facility with the aim to make it the largest digital asset mining facility across the globe.

According to a press release published on October 21st, Bitmain revealed their new US facility in Rockdale, Texas. The facility stands on a 33,000 acre land owned by Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa). It has been built to a current 25MW capacity, with a 50MW facility remaining under construction. According to Bitmain, the site has been designed to expand its overall capacity six times over to 300MW in the future.

The facility had been developed with the help the Rockdale Municipal Development District and Canadian technology firm DMG Blockchain Solutions, for streamlining its operations at the new venue.

Clinton Brown, Rockdale lead project manager for Bitmain, has stated upon the news release:

“We are excited to launch this facility, which is significant to Bitmain’s global expansion plans. The stable and efficient energy resources in Texas are fundamental to the inevitable scale of growth for the cryptocurrency mining industry.”

DMG, which will provide hosting and management services for the Texas facility, will collaborate with Bitmain to expand the facility’s capacity and ensure the efficiency of the site’s mining operations.

In addition to that, both companies have stated they will work closely to establish the facility’s on-ground team together with the local workforce commission – the Rockdale MDD.

The giant mining firm has also affirmed in the press release that it will acquire materials for the on-going construction from local suppliers in the area to contribute to the economy of the region. Furthermore, the company will also purchase energy directly from Rockdale’s electric grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

According to Sheldon Bennett – COO of DMG and in-charge of Rockdale mining facility – “this mining facility marks a major milestone in the development of the mining farm industry. We are proud to partner with Bitmain, the leading innovator in this sector.”

Aside from supporting the local economy, Bitmain also plans to launch educational programs and training on blockchain technology and mining data center operations in cooperation with the Rockdale school district.

As previously reported, Bitmain’s plans for its Texas facility were first announced in August of last year. At the time, Bitmain stated it had expected to create 400 local jobs within the first two years, citing $500 million as its total planned investment into the economy over an initial period of seven years.

However, at the beginning of this year, local reports alluded that the project was being reduced, with reports of staff layoffs and suspended operations. Adverse market conditions were thought to be the reason for the alleged downscale.

Meanwhile, another Texas-based crypto mining farm – Layer1 – recently secured $50 million from an array of investors with an aim to establish America’s leading crypto mining facility.

Telegram Delays Token Sale as the SEC Files for Injunction

Telegram is ready to push back their token sale following an injunction initiated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission over the sale of its Gram tokens.

The SEC ordered Telegram to stop the token sale with an emergency restraining order against Telegram Group, Inc., and TON Issuer, the two issuers of Telegram’s tokens listed in the Regulation D filing with the SEC in February and March 2018.

Telegram is ready to follow the SEC’s order for now and delay the token sale.

“Telegram has agreed to stipulate that it will not make any offers, sales, or deliveries of its expected cryptocurrency, called “Grams,” in order to maintain the status quo until this Court can resolve the legal issues at the heart of the matter,” the document reads.

Last Friday, the SEC filed the emergency action against Telegram to prevent it from distributing its Gram tokens, which the agency deems as unregistered securities. The regulator said Telegram failed to register a securities issuance and “committed to flood the U.S. capital markets with billions of Grams by October 31, 2019” — the deadline for TON’s launch.

In a letter to investors following the SEC filed order Telegram said that it has been working with the SEC over the past 18 months and has been surprised to see the lawsuit initiated by the agency. The company also accused the SEC of failing to advise Telegram on its blockchain project and token sale.

By voluntarily stopping the sale and distribution of Gram tokens, Telegram states that the injunction is no longer required, asking the court to deny the SEC‘s motion.

With all the issues around the token sale, it looks like Telegram‘s token launch definitely won’t stick to the schedule.

Following Telegram’s response on October 16, where the company argued that its native crypto is not a security and the preliminary injunction should be denied, the SEC has responded with a new filing in the U.S. District Court on October 17.

In the document, the agency insists that Telegram has actually violated the U.S. securities laws and that a preliminary injunction should be granted to prevent Telegram from further violation, mentioning that the company is likely to violate the law again.

Should the motion pass, this would be a massive blow to Telegram’s efforts who already raised over $1.7 billion in two pre-sale rounds, with major venture funds, including Lightspeed Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Benchmark as investors.