HSBC invests in blockchain tech firm ConsenSys

Blockchain technology firm ConsenSys has raised $200 million in a funding round backed by HSBC, bringing its valuation to $3.2 billion.

This is not the first time this year that ConsenSys has attracted large scale investments from traditional players within financial services. In April, JP Morgan, Mastercard, and UBS poured $65 million into the firm.

Founded in 2015, ConsenSys develop decentralised software services and applications that operate on the Ethereum blockchain.

New investors in the New York based firm included Marshall Wace, Third Point, ParaFi Capital, and Think Investments, who joined new partners including Dragonfly Capital, Electric Capital, Spartan Group, DeFiance Capital, Animoca Brands, Coinbase Ventures, and HSBC.

ConsenSys said the funding will support the expansion of its MetaMask cryptocurrency wallet, which it claimed has surpassed 21 million monthly active users, and its Infura developer platform, which it said is used by 350,000 developers.

The firm said it would also use the funding to hire for 400 new roles across its products and services.

The news comes at a time when decentralised products are seeing a huge wave of investment in the financial services market.

Earlier this week it was announced that Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam had raised $2.5 billion this month for a new cryptocurrency-focused venture capital (VC) firm called Paradigm One, which is set to focus on Ethereum based products.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP acted as ConsenSys’ legal advisor in this transaction.

“The ‘age of silos’ and ‘trusted third parties’ (h/t @punk6529) is giving way to the ‘age of community and collaboration’ enabled by an automated, objective, trust foundation and a decentralised finance ecosystem,” said Joseph Lubin, founder and chief executive of ConsenSys and co-creator of Ethereum. “The paradigm shift to a world running on decentralised protocols is in full gear.”

“The pace of adoption is now so rapid that we’ve more than doubled many of our core KPIs since this deal was struck over the summer. We are honored to partner with some of the top financial and strategic investors from both traditional and next generation economies to accelerate the realization of Web3.”

He added: “As our technology crosses into the mainstream, we are already seeing the transformation of how larger and larger cohorts of builders, users, artists, and enterprises live and work.”

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