Crypto research site Diar claims that startups in the digital currency and blockchain space have notched roughly $3.9 billion in funding via venture capital (VC) investments, CoinDesk reported. The figure, which represents investments over the first, second and third quarters, marks a 280 percent jump from all of last year. In addition, the report noted that the average size of investments in the blockchain and crypto space rose by $1 million this year.
Ten years after bitcoin launched, it remains the go-to currency of criminals and a way for cybercrooks to wash their money. To that end, an unidentified French official was taken into custody for allegedly trading state secrets for bitcoin, CoinDesk reported. While the report did not say the extent of the information sold — or how much the agent collected in digital currency — the person could end up paying a fine of €100,000 ($115,740 USD) or serve prison time for seven years.
On another note, Coinbase brought a Charles Schwab advisor on to its board of directors, CoinDesk reported. The new addition, Chris Dodds, is on the brokerage firm’s board of directors and also serves as a senior equity advisor. In a blog post, Coinbase Co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong wrote, “Chris brings world-class leadership skills, deep knowledge of the financial services industry, and significant financial and accounting experience. His extensive expertise will be an asset to the Coinbase leadership team as we focus on scaling our business.”
At the same time, Coinbase tapped Jonathan Kellner to be its Institutional Coverage Group’s managing director. Kellner previously served as Instinet’s chief executive. Coinbase COO and President Asiff Hirji noted in another blog post, “In his new role at Coinbase, Jonathan will take charge of our institutional sales and support organizations, and will play an integral role in bringing our suite of institutional crypto trading products to professional investors.