Canadian startup Blockstream announced it has raised $21 million in a new funding from about 40 investors. The company is planning to enhance the bitcoin’s blockchain technology and convert it into a universal platform for new applications.
The co-founders intend to continue the development of bitcoin 2.0 applications, which will enable people to carry out transactions without paying fees to a third party, such as trustees and escrow managers.
The investors also included Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder and Airbnb board member, Khosla Ventures, Canadian seed fund Real Ventures, Crypto Currency Partners, Mosaic Ventures, Google chairman Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Future\Perfect Ventures, Ribbit Capital and AME Cloud Ventures, among others.
Blockstream has no exact plan on how to turn a project into a corporate money-maker. However, the investors believe the project will succeed, given the reputations of Blockstream co-founders, Tally Capital and Matthew Roszak, who were described as the “highest caliber of human capital in the blockchain planet.”
Blockstream CEO Austin Hill said the funding round demonstrated the tech industry acknowledges the potential of the blockchain technology.
Hill wrote on the company’s official blog:
“Blockstream is the first startup focused on advancements to the core technology underpinning Bitcoin. The hundreds of millions invested in Bitcoin startups over the past few years have been to companies building applications and services on top of Bitcoin. Blockstream is the first company extending the capabilities at the protocol level to support massive scaling of Bitcoin and blockchain technology to a broad range of asset types. Put another way, the extension mechanism of sidechains, the company’s initial area of focus, allows any number of so far unthought of developments to happen in an open and interoperable way.”
In October, the news about the funding round leaked with a filing of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, according to which LinkedIn founder Hoffman would serve on the Blockstream’s board of directors.
Hoffman believes bitcoin is a revolutionary technology that will bring more innovations in commerce sector. He stated in a post on LinkedIn website:
“Over time, I believe this ecosystem-first approach will ultimately create massive economic value – for everyone in the Bitcoin universe, including individual users, businesses of all types, developers, entrepreneurs, and investors. As Bitcoin evolves, Blockstream will play a huge role in helping it maintain its momentum, by making it easy to add new capabilities to the platform. And Blockstream’s success will in turn generate new waves of technical and entrepreneurial innovation. It will help make Bitcoin the kind of open, highly adaptive platform upon which a vast array of complementary products and services can be built.”