A Bitcoin Startup has just raised $8 million from French Investment Bank.
A few years ago, most of us would probably never have expect that traditional banks would be investing in the blockchain technology. Today however, it is happening. ACINQ, a bitcoin startup and one of the three main Lightning Network development firms, has raised an $8 million Series A led by Idinvest Partners, with the participation of Serena and Bpifrance, a state-owned French investment bank.
Veteran Banker Moving With Time
That’s not typically what one might expect to hear from a veteran banker at a public institution. But Veronique Jacq of the partially state-owned French investment bank Bpifrance is convinced of the potential of Bitcoin, which is becoming increasingly obvious as time passes. The blockchain revolution is happening and the bank does not want to be outside of it.
That’s why Bpifrance just made its first investment in a crypto startup, because the bank wants to play an active role in building bitcoin’s infrastructure.
Nicolas Debock, from Idinvest Partners, affirmed that the venture capital firm continues to look at crypto-focused companies and that it was important to see which ones were creating good products.
From Debock’s perspective, earlier waves of investment in the bitcoin economy revolved around mining companies, then exchanges and wallet providers. But traditional firms, like Idinvest, were wary of the “timing game” required to make significant returns on projects that are still subject to the erratic whims of an immature market and an opaque regulatory climate.
Opportunities In Future In Blockchain
By contrast, he said, investing in companies with a long-term focus on the application layer offers a more palatable opportunity.
Debock also affirmed that if the Lightning Network lives up to its potential, it can be a powerful tool. Other investors certainly agree with that.
“If lightning lives up to its promise, it’s going to relay a lot of transactions,” Debock said. “When you relay a lot of transactions there are always ways to make money.”
In a press statement, Serena partner Kamel Zeroual echoed his peers, explaining why a government bank would want to invest in developing layers of the bitcoin ecosystem:
“In a context of currency wars and negative interest rates, Bitcoin’s value proposition – a free, independent currency with an issuance policy set in its protocol – is impossible to ignore. All that it needs to achieve its goals is a sound, usable scalability solution.”
ACINQ is known for its Eclair Lightning network implementation and mobile wallet app. The firm has also developed Strike, an API for businesses to accept Lightning Network payments.
This Series A brings ACINQ’s total funding up to $10 million USD to fund its projects. This will be used to hire more people to the team and to focus on creating the best possible final product. At the moment, the company operates the node with the largest capacity of the network and more improvements are on the way.