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Coinbase launches Coinbase Ventures; a new vehicle for early-stage investment

Coinbase has announced the inception of Coinbase Ventures; a new early-stage investment vehicle which will invest in cryptocurrency firms and even Coinbase’s direct competitors.

Off the back of launching its own passively-managed cryptocurrency index fund, Coinbase President and Chief Operating Officer Asiff Hirji has now announced the launch of Coinbase Ventures.

Speaking on CNBC’s Fast Money, Hirji outlined that Coinbase Ventures will proceed to “invest in companies that are in the space and are aligned with our values.”

Hirji elaborated that Coinbase Ventures will kick off with a series of seed-stage investments this week, which will be aimed at bootstrapping several cryptocurrency and blockchain projects. According to Hirji, the profits from the fund will be ‘de minimis’ comparative to Coinbase’s wider operations, but would be set for a $15 million USD start.

In an official blog post, a Coinbase spokesperson outlined that Coinbase Ventures “may see [Coinbase] invest in companies that ostensibly look competitive with Coinbase… We’re taking a long-term view of the space, and we believe that multiple approaches are healthy and good.”

Speaking on CNBC, Hirji specifically pointed out that Coinbase Ventures would proceed to search for founders rather than directly invest in new cryptocurrency projects. The company president quipped that “by giving them access to capital we hope that they will grow great businesses… It’s not about investing in the token, it’s not about trying to line up tokens that we would put on our exchange.”

Further, Coinbase would not give listing preferences to companies the firm becomes invested in; Hirji explained that “we are not investing in currencies because we do not want even the appearance of a conflict of interest.”

Coinbase has made a raft of new announcements in recent weeks – beyond the addition of its passively-managed cryptocurrency index fund, the company has further unveiled its Protocol Team, which will move to contribute to new blockchain technologies, with the view of tackling open-source projects such as cryptography, permissionless consensus, and decentralized computation.

The company recently introduced support for ERC20 tokens on its core platforms despite not listing any new assets, while new reports have indicated the firm could be in discussion to acquire email monetization service Earn.com.

Posted: Apr 06, 2018 Author: Bryan Smith Categories: Popular