Could Bitcoin’s Lightning Power Mobile Communications? This Startup Thinks So

New research from mobile mesh networking company goTenna explores how mobile communications can be decentralized with the help of bitcoin’s lightning network. Technologists have long explored how to use cryptocurrencies and blockchains to build programs where users are more in control of their data. GoTenna, the company behind mesh network devices for internet-less connections, is exploring a novel approach. To that end, the GoTenna team has released a new paper describing how decentralized mesh networks for sending “mobile communications” (such as text messages) could be powered by bitcoin micropayments. What’s…

Napster Founder’s IoT Startup to Go Crypto With $15 Million Series C

An internet-of-things (IoT) startup founded in 2013 is adding tokens to its business model with the backing of two of crypto’s best-known funders. Helium announced Wednesday a $15 million Series C co-led by Union Square Ventures and Multicoin Capital. Investors will acquire equity in Helium as well as a share of the tokens that will accrue to the company over the next several years as they are minted, after its bespoke blockchain goes live, according to a spokesperson. Previous investors that participated in the latest round included Khosla Ventures, GV (formerly Google…

‘Most Ambitious’ Blockchain Startup Since Ethereum Raises $15 Million

By CCN Markets: A blockchain project called Helium has raised $15 million in a round led by enthusiastic technology investors like Multicoin Capital and Google (via venture fund GV). Multicoin wrote a passionate blog post, praising the project as one of the most ambitious crypto ventures since Ethereum itself. Helium reportedly will bring reduced costs to deploying wireless networks, as Multicoin partner Tushar Jain explains:  “The Helium vision is the most ambitious we have seen in the blockchain space since the advent of smart contracts on Ethereum: Helium represents a…

Ex-Employee Sues Startup Behind Zcash for $2M Over Unpaid Stock

A former employee, Simon Liu, is suing the former Zerocoin Electric Coin Company for $2 million over unpaid shares, breach of contact, and damages, according to court documents filed on May 29. Zerocoin is the organization behind the popular cryptocurrency Zcash (ZEC). The complaint, filed in the Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco, alleges Zerocoin founders made false promises regarding employee compensation and breached their fiduciary duty to employees. Simon Liu joined Zerocoin as Senior Software Engineer in August, 2016. At that time, Liu entered into a contract…

Digital Asset Security Startup Fireblocks Leaves Stealth Mode With $16 Million in Funding

Digital asset cybersecurity startup Fireblocks announced its launch out of stealth mode with $16 million in funding, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on June 11. Per the release, Fireblocks obtained the capital during its Series A funding round from Cyberstarts, Tenaya Capital, EightRoads (Fidelity INTL), Swisscom Ventures and MState. The startup reportedly counts crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital, over-the-counter digital trading platform Genesis Global Trading and others among its customers, with the company declaring: “Currently, Fireblocks is integrated with 15 digital asset exchanges and offers support for…

Corona, Budweiser Owner’s Investment Arm Backs Blockchain ID Startup

United States-based blockchain identity startup BanQu announced that it closed an extension of its series A funding round led by multinational drinks and brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev’s investment arm. The development was announced in a post on June 6. Per the announcement, the undisclosed amount of funds have been raised by ZX Venture to allow BanQu to continue the development of its supply chain transparency and traceability, and continue its geographic expansion. Crunchbase estimates the annual revenue of the funding company — which owns the Budweiser, Corona, Leffe and Becks…

Budweiser Owner Invests in Blockchain Startup Working to Alleviate Poverty

Budweiser’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, is doubling down on its interest in using blockchain tech to assist unbanked workers. Through its ZX Ventures arm, the brewing giant – which also owns the Stella Artois, Corona and Beck’s brands, among many others – has invested an undisclosed amount in a Series A fundraising for blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) startup BanQu, according to an announcement. Established in 2015, BanQu connects workers, such as farmers who are often unbanked, directly with companies and organizations further along the supply chains they serve using its blockchain platform. Via…

3 Top Executives Depart Online Lending Fintech Startup SoFi

Fintech startup SoFi — known for its online lending services — has seen three of its top executives depart from the company, the Wall Street Journal reports on June 4. As Cointelegraph reported at the time, SoFi partnered with major United States-based crypto exchange Coinbase in February to roll out crypto trading support. Per the WSJ report, head of risk, Kevin Moss, the lender’s top capital markets executive, Ashish Jain, and marketing chief, Joanne Bradford, recently told CEO Anthony Noto about their plans to abandon their positions. All three have…

Tech Startup Fluree Raises Nearly $5 Million in Seed Round for Blockchain Database

North Carolina-based Fluree has raised $4.7 million in its first funding round for the company’s blockchain-based database system, according to a report by Tech Crunch on June 3. The firm’s blockchain database product, FlureeDB, purports to be “an immutable, time-ordered blockchain database” according to its documentation. Additionally, users can reportedly choose to run the database privately or on a federated blockchain network. CEO Brian Platz explained: “If you want 100% decentralization, something like Bitcoin, it’s going to be slow. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you…

Crypto Lending Startup BlockFi Launches Gemini Dollar Accounts

Cryptocurrency asset management company BlockFi announced that its interest-bearing accounts now support the gemini dollar (GUSD) in a post published on May 29. Per the announcement, GUSD deposits will see a yearly yield of 6.2%, paid in the stablecoin in question. BlockFi notes that it also offers GUSD as a U.S. dollar funding option and as collateral from institutional cryptocurrency borrowers. BlockFi CEO Zac Prince commented: “The implication of adding this functionality is that you could see crypto companies like BlockFi compete with traditional fintech challenger banks by taking advantage…