An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: Blockdata, a crypto research firm, released an updated blog post Tuesday showing who’s been the most active investors in the crypto scene from September 2021 through June 2022. Researchers noted big tech firms including the likes of Tencent, Microsoft, PayPal, Samsung, and Alphabet (Google) are putting big money into crypto companies and startups. Some of these companies, like PayPal, have been a longtime and verbal supporter of blockchain tech (thanks in part to its co-founder Peter Thiel). Still others, like Google, have been much more subdued. […] What Google chooses to invest in may help answer where the company wants to see blockchain tech go, or what it may want to incorporate into its own tech infrastructure. In the report, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, sat at the top of the pile showing it had put over $1.5 billion into crypto companies over four rounds of investment. Some of the company’s overall funds went to the likes of Dapper Labs, the company that was behind the NBA’s Top Shot and UFC Strike licensed video NFTs. The company was also behind CryptoKitties, a NFT-based game that’s seen the price of its products tank.
What makes this more complicated is there are actually two of Google’s investing arms involved in this fundraising. GV (Google’s investing arm once called Google Ventures) helped fund Dapper Labs and another crypto infrastructure company Voltage, which got $6 million in total investments at the start of 2022. CapitalG, the company’s independent private equity firm, had a hand in the $550 million raised by Fireblock, a crypto custody firm, as well as investments with digital currency venture capital company Digital Currency Group Of course, this was all before the most recent crypto crash, which has seen a multitude of once-strong crypto companies layoff thousands of workers. Though it’s not like this is the first time we’ve heard about Google’s parent company Alphabet with their big financial interest in blockchain companies. They’ve been investing in this tech since 2016, according to the Blockdata report. Previous reports showed they had put money into crypto companies like Ripple (which just like many small altcoins since the recent crypto crash, isn’t doing too hot). Google had previously made much wider investments across a wider variety of blockchain-based companies. That was then, and this is now. Blockdata analysts said this limited slate of investments is an attempt to make concentrated bets on a small set of companies, but even with executive’s stated hopes for blockchain tech, it’s hard to see all investments truly panning out.
Though it was fourth in the size of its contributions, Samsung was leading the pack in the number — and eye-twitching variety — of crypto ventures it was making it rain on over an incredible 13 rounds of investing. A total of $979.26 million went to the likes of Dank Bank, a NFT platform for trying to monetize “memes and other iconic moments in internet history.” They put more of their funds behind Yuga Labs, the creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTS. They put down their investment in March, but in April, users on the group’s official Instagram and Discord were scammed of nearly $13.7 million worth of NFTs. Still, founders said many of BAYC’s rather strange initiatives like a Bored Ape “Metaverse” are still moving full steam ahead. They also put money into Sky Mavis, the makers of the crypto-based “play-to-earn” game Axie Infinity. That investment probably didn’t do them any wonders considering its token bridge suffered one of the biggest hacks in crypto history earlier this year. The game has struggled to recover after that blow, though players had already been leaving the platform before hackers snatched away bridge funds. “Blockdata’s research shows that 81 of the top 100 public companies have made some kind of past or present crypto investment,” adds Gizmodo. “2021 showed the absolute highest amount of overall investment in blockchain companies. Funding totals have increased by a factor of 14 from 2019 to last year.”
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Source: Slashdot – Google’s Investing Arms Are Pumping .56 Billion Into Blockchain Companies