Crypto-Mergers and Acquisitions Increased by 200% in 2018

Institutional investors, venture capitalists, and other well-heeled entities “in the know” are using a year-long bear market to buy up future technologies for what might turn out to be pennies on the dollar.


It Takes Money to Make Money

Yesterday CNBC reported that most of  2018 has been a “deal frenzy” for cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies as mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are reported to have increased by 200 percent. Pitchbook had JMP Securities crunch M&A data the results showed that by the end of 2018 there will have been 145 M&A deals.

The data is inclusive of majority investments, partial and full acquisitions but it does not pinpoint the exact dollar amount spent for each deal. JMP did mention that most of the M&As are “relatively small” as the sum is less than $100 million. The uptick in M&As took place as Bitcoin declined to trade nearly 53% below its January price.

Interestingly, buyers did not appear deterred by Bitcoin’s fall from $20,000 in January as the $830 billion dollar market capitalization began to disintegrate. In fact, according to Satya Bajpai, the head of blockchain and digital assets investment banking at JMP Securities, “You’re seeing a mispricing of assets.” Bajpai believes that the majority of crypto-startups have token values that “remain correlated to Bitcoin” and this phenomenon “can create an ideal opportunity for strategic acquirers.”

Crypto is an Investors Smorgasbord

Bajpai used the analogy of a “land grab” when describing how the rapid pace of growth and innovation in a new sector compels investors to buy up technology producers instead of attempting to build their own platform. Bajpai explained that “[The M&A route is] expensive, but you get the technology and product immediately. This industry is like a treadmill – the only way to keep up on a treadmill is to keep running by investing in new technology.”

The Ends Justifies the Means

Bajpai also pointed out that hasty acquisitions come with significant risks as a number of the companies scooped up during mergers and acquisitions are startups in infancy and have yet to prove themselves. Nonetheless, the uptick in mergers and acquisitions shows that many investors are willing to look past these issues as the potential for future returns could far outweigh these risks.  

What do you think about venture capitalists and institutions purchasing crypto-startups? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of JMP Securities, Shutterstock.

New York City Mansion Hits the Market for Either Cash or Bitcoin

A 10,720-foot mansion next to Manhattan’s Riverside Park is on the market for $15.9 million dollars. The buyer is open to accepting cash or Bitcoin from a buyer.


After a five-year renovation project, Roy Niederhoffer is now reluctantly placing his 10,720-foot mansion on the market for $15.9 million dollars, according to Fortune.

Nestled close to Riverside Park in Manhattan with views of the Hudson River and New Jersey, the now six-floor residence is one Niederhoffer “admired for decades as one of the greatest houses in New York.”

Despite Niederhoffer’s affinity for the historical property originally constructed around 1897, he is also very bullish on Bitcoin (BTC) 00 and desires to own more of the cryptocurrency.

According to Fortune, Niederhoffer notes he would cover his portion of the closing costs with fiat currency if someone were to pay with Bitcoin.

He says the property is “priced to sell,” even though its width and outdoor exposure is very rare across comparable houses in the city. Aside from a plethora of natural light, the house includes a home cinema, ballroom, and catering kitchen.

The Cryptocurrency Real Estate Market Heats Up

The listing in New York City shows how the global real estate market continues to be more comfortable with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

This summer, Bitcoinist reported on a 16th-century Roman mansion listed with a price tag of roughly $42 million. The buyer had the opportunity to make a purchase with either fiat or cryptocurrency.

In late July, those selling a mansion in the Texas city of Highland Park were also open to accepting Bitcoin.

Some, like Neeraj Agarwal of Coin Center, say virtual currencies are a good tool for real estate transactions since people can utilize them to send large amounts of money without paying large fees and getting tied up with middlemen.

mansion

Realtor Stephan Burke, who has brokered a few Bitcoin real estate sales, estimates digital currencies will constitute 20-30% of industry sales in five years.

According to Burke, buyers and sellers using Bitcoin are intelligent people who are able to see the future since “they’re focused on this world of intangibility.”

Boosting International Transactions

Some think a gradual pivot towards digital currency use in the world of real estate could help bolster the international market, especially in nations with monetary controls.

Forbes reports how people in China are looking towards cryptocurrencies in order to participate in real estate transactions to get around state-imposed limits on currency flowing out of the nation.

New capital controls in the Asian nation also restrict overseas real estate investment in general, which has hurt markets in the United States.

Other speculate a shift to cryptocurrencies could help grow potential real estate customer pools since more younger people are interested in using them.

A study from the London Block Exchange found how 11% of Millennials said they are “definitely planning” to invest this year, while another 17% noted how they are “seriously considering” an investment by the end of 2018.

Would you be willing to buy a house with cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of, Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock, Sotheby’s Homes.

Ledger CEO Wins French Award for Startup With International Potential

Eric Larchevêque, CEO and co-founder of cryptocurrency hardware wallet-maker Ledger, has won a French award for the startup leader whose model has the greatest potential internationally.


The prestigious regional prize in Ernst & Young’s (EY) 26th Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 awards, located in France, is “Startup of the Year.” Ledger’s Eric Larchevêque can lay claim to this award, as well as the “Born Global Award” for the international potential of his startup Ledger.

International Success for Ledger

Ledger’s potential has already turned into an international success. A few days ago, the reputable cryptocurrency hardware wallet manufacturer announced that it had achieved sales of 1.3 million units.

The ledger startup, created in January 2015, was formed from an amalgamation of companies including Chronicon-RadioceRos and BTChip. 

In the first round of funding in 2015, Ledger raised the equivalent of over $6 million USD. The company then went on to raise a further $75 million in 2017. Today Ledger has 150 employees on three continents, generating over $50 million in sales revenue in 2017.

Ledger tweeted Larchevêque’s  new award today, October 19, 2018, with the report by LesEchos.fr.

Regarding the success of the Ledger cryptocurrency wallets, Larchevêque recently pointed to a combination of security and affordability. Ledger has a handful of competitors in the market including TREZOR and KeepKey. TREZOR is also popular, with reports suggesting it had sold around 800,000 units by January 2018.

EY’s Awards

EY’s national awards in France have a serious process behind them, the same as with its equivalent awards programs in other countries. In France, juries meet in seven French regions to analyze the nomination applications received. Regional winners are selected, meeting in a national final for the overall category winners to be selected. The national awards ceremony then happened this year on October 18, 2018.

Larchevêque and Ledger won the regional round for Paris, as “Startup of the Year” before winning the national “Born Global Award.”

Champs-Elysees and Arc de Triomphe

Larchevêque is a serial entrepreneur who opened a French Bitcoin Center, “La Maison du Bitcoin,” before going on to co-found Ledger.  He’s reportedly giving himself five years to make Ledger “ […] a European technology giant of blockchain applications.” The entrepreneur may be well on the way to his goal.

What are your thoughts about Ledger’s new awards? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter/@LedgerHQ.