10 Giant Crypto And Blockchain Rounds Single-Handedly Raised $3.9 Billion This Year

Gene Selby

Table of Contents Bitmain: $422 millionBlockchain.com: $300 million Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, which has recently raised $900 million, setting a new funding record Vergile Simon Bertrand for Forbes Blockchain startups keep setting new funding records. Ten of the twelve largest financing rounds ever completed by firms in the nascent […]

Blockchain startups keep setting new funding records. Ten of the twelve largest financing rounds ever completed by firms in the nascent market, totaling $3.9 billion, have come in 2021, with five months still to go. Almost a half of that amount has been raised just in the past two months alone over four mega-rounds.

The capstone to this recent flurry of investments comes from Antingua-incorporated crypto derivatives exchange FTX, which scored the largest private deal in the industry’s history of $900 million last month, doubling the record of its precursor, digital infrastructure provider Circle, and valuing the two-year old exchange at $18 billion. The round also doubled the net-worth of the richest known crypto billionaire in the world and FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, bringing it up from $8.3 billion to $16.2 billion.

Topping the list of most prolific U.S. investors in the space as of July 29 is Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, which has backed 111 startups in the vertical, according to research firm Pitchbook, followed by 79 from Coinbase Ventures, 74 from Pantera Capital, 68 from Blockchain Capital, 58 from Andreessen Horowitz and 51 from Polychain Capital.

With crypto markets back on the upswing, we anticipate more large rounds to follow. In the meantime, here are the 12 largest raises in crypto history (not including the funding raised by firms operating primarily in non-crypto verticals):


Deal date: July 20, 2021

VC Round: Series B

Notable investors: Paradigm, Sequoia Capital, Ribbit Capital, Third Point, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Coinbase Ventures, Softbank, Sino Global Capital, Circle

Post-money valuation: $18 billion

Previous valuation: $1.2 billion

A relative latecomer among cryptocurrency exchanges, FTX, launched in May 2019, differentiated itself from industry giants like Binance and Coinbase by offering even inexperienced traders advanced functionality and sophisticated investment products, including options, futures, volatility products and leveraged tokens. FTX averages over $10 billion in daily trading volume; it increased revenues tenfold this year and 75 times since its Series A funding round.


Deal date: May 28, 2021

Notable investors: Fidelity Management and Research Company, Marshall Wace, Digital Currency Group, FTX, Breyer Capital

Post-money valuation: N/A

Previous valuation: $3 billion

The payments and treasury infrastructure provider, Circle is best known as one of the principal developers of stablecoin USDC, which has grown by more than 3400% this year. The asset now stands at over $27 billion in circulation and the company claims it has supported more than $785 billion in on-chain transactions. On July 8, Circle announced plans to go public via a merger with Concord Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company led by former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond. The transaction valued the firm at $4.5 billion.


Bitmain: $422 million

Deal date: August 7, 2018

VC round: Series B1

Notable investors: Crimson Capital China, Bluebell (Asia), Jumbo Sheen Group, Lioness Capital, Palace Investment Company, Pavilion Capital

Post-money valuation: $15 billion

Previous valuation: $12 billion

The world’s leading bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer, Bitmain also operates Antpool, one of the top bitcoin mining pools, accounting for 13% of bitcoin’s network hash, or computational, power. Shortly after the $422 million capital raise, the Beijing-based company filed for an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in September 2018, but the offering fell through amid the bitcoin crash and market cooldown.


Deal date: June 10, 2021

VC round: Series C

Notable investors: 10T Holdings, Cathay Innovation, Draper Esprit, Draper Associates, Draper Dragon, DCG.

Post-money valuation: $1.5 billion

Previous valuation: $287.1 million

Ledger produces hardware wallets, dedicated devices used to store digital assets. It has sold more than 3 million hardware wallets in 190 countries to date and counts more than 1.5 million monthly users on Ledger Live, a mobile companion to the Ledger hardware wallet which allows users to manage and store their assets. The company has integrated with platforms like Coinify, a crypto payments and exchange platform; Changelly, a crypto exchange; and Compound, a decentralized crypto borrowing and lending platform.


Deal date: March 11, 2021

VC round: Series D

Notable investors: Bain Capital Ventures, partners of DST Global, Pomp Investments, Tiger Global, Susquehanna Government Products 

Post-money valuation: $3 billion

Previous valuation: $435 million

Founded in 2017, New-Jersey based BlockFi is now one of the leading cryptocurrency lending providers. Its products span multiple categories including crypto-collateralized loans and interest-bearing accounts through which investors can earn interest on their crypto holdings. Rumors of BlockFi’s potential IPO started to circulate last July following reports of a job opportunity, part of which involved helping the company go public. Last month, Texas, New Jersey and Alabama regulators began questioning the legality of the firm’s BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) offering.


Deal date: June 9, 2021

VC round: Private placement token sale

Notable investors: Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, Alameda Research, Blockchange Ventures, CMS Holdings.

Post-money valuation: N/A

Previous valuation: N/A

A proof-of-stake blockchain challenger to Ethereum, Solana claims to deliver both improved scalability and speed. According to data from blockchair, the network is capable of processing more that 1,000 transactions per second (TPS), compared to Ethereum’s 14 TPS. Solana has facilitated more than 19 billion on-chain transitions to date and hosts a range of decentralized products including Serum, a decentralized exchange founded by billionaire FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. 


Deal date: July 27, 2021

VC round: Series D

Notable investors: Sequoia Capital, SCB 10X (the venture arm of Siam Commercial Bank), Coatue, Stripes, Spark Capital, DRW VC

Post-money valuation: $2 billion

Previous valuation: N/A

The New-York cryptocurrency custodian provides an enterprise-grade platform for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets, including bitcoin, ethereum, polkadot and others. A key differentiating feature for Fireblocks’s custodial offering is its use of a novel form of wallet security known as multi-party computation (MPC), which enables multiple parties – each holding their own private data – to evaluate a computation without ever revealing any of the private data held by each party. Since its inception in 2019 Fireblocks has secured over 1 trillion in digital assets.


Deal date: March 30, 2021

VC round: 5th round

Notable investors: Coatue Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant

Post-money valuation: $2.6 billion

Previous valuation: N/A

The Vancouver-based startup is best known as the developer of NBA Top Shot, an NFT marketplace for basketball video highlights or “moments.” The project, which has already surpassed the $500 million mark in trading volume, is largely responsible for the boom of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), essentially digital proofs of ownership trackable on a blockchain. Earlier, Dapper Labs developed a popular Ethereum game of breedable collectibles called CryptoKitties. 


Deal date: May 11, 2021

VC round: 1st Round

Notable investors: Peter Thiel’s Thiel Capital and Founders Fund, Alan Howard, Galaxy Digital, Nomura.

Post-money valuation: N/A

Previous valuation: N/A

In May, Block.one, the company behind the EOSIO open-source software, launched an independent subsidiary focused on the release of Bullish, a new blockchain-based cryptocurrency exchange. The venture fetched over $10 billion in cash and digital assets, including the $300 million investment round, from renowned investors such as Peter Thiel, Alan Howard and Richard Li, among others. In July, mere two months since launch, Bullish revealed plans to go public via a SPAC merger at a $9 billion valuation.


Deal date: April 29, 2021

VC round: Series D

Notable investors: Oak HC/FT, PayPal Ventures, Declaration Partners, Liberty City Ventures, Bank of America

Post-money valuation: $2.4 billion

Previous valuation: N/A

Paxos’ technology powers crypto brokerage services of PayPal and PayPal-owned Venmo, which enable millions of users to buy, hold and sell bitcoin and a handful of other major cryptocurrencies. The company’s other products and services include a U.S.-dollar backed stablecoin Paxos Standard (PAX), cryptocurrency exchange itBit and an equities settlement service used by Credit Suisse, Societe Generale and Instinet, the trading arm of Nomura Holdings.


Blockchain.com: $300 million

Deal date: March 24, 2021

VC round: Series C

Notable investors: partners of DST Global, Lightspeed Venture Partners, VY Capital

Post-money valuation: $5.2 billion

Previous valuation: $3 billion

Blockchain.com provides a variety of crypto services to retail and institutional clients but is most famous for its non-custodial digital wallets. Unlike its counterparts controlled by third parties, these wallets give users full control over their private keys that represent ownership of crypto assets. The London-based company claims it has processed 28% of all bitcoin transactions since 2012


Deal date: March 16, 2020

VC round: Series B

Notable investors: Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), BCG Digital Ventures, PayU

Post-money valuation: N/A

Previous valuation: N/A

In February 2020, the crypto venture of ICE (the New York Stock Exchange owner) announced the acquisition of Bridge2 Solutions, provider of loyalty programs, to power Bakkt’s one-stop shop retail platform. Called Bakkt App, the service lets users aggregate various digital assets including loyalty points, rewards programs, gaming assets and cryptocurrencies in a single wallet. In January, Bakkt announced it is going public via a SPAC merger with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings at an enterprise value of about $2.1 billion. Upon the deal’s closure, the combined company will list on the New York Stock Exchange as Bakkt Holdings, Inc. 

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