Blockchain and digital currency startups notched over £200m in funding from venture capitalists in 2018 per Pitchbook and London & Partners data, TheNextWeb reported. By comparison, the startups from those industries only took in £19.11M in funding in 2017 compared to £51.96M the year prior. Overall, the report noted that tech firms in London took in 72 percent of the total amount of financing received by those types of companies in the country.
In other news, a former NASDAQ Europe executive has become a member of Concordium Foundation’s advisory board, Coindesk reported. Hans-Ole Jochumsen previously served as vice chairman for NASDAQ Europe, and he plans to help the group with knowledge in know-your-customer (KYC) practices, taxes and the provenance of transactions. The nonprofit is said to be creating a digital currency that comes with a compliance function built in. Lars Seier Christensen, the company’s co-founder, told the outlet that a testnet is set to roll out “within the next month.”
On another note, Bitrefill’s Thor service now lets users provide another user with a lighting channel without the receiver needing to do any setup, Coindesk reported. While a user usually has to open a channel and deposit bitcoin, Thor aims to do the technical work for them and offers the chance for them to pay in a few different cryptocurrencies. John Carvalho, a representative of Bitrefill, told the outlet that the service doesn’t require users to have that digital currency: “All you have to do is download one of the supported wallet apps, install it, and then either you or a friend can come to Bitrefill and purchase a channel opening.”
In other news, the family of the missing wife of a Norwegian businessman has reportedly received a demand for ransom in digital currency, Reuters reported. According to reports that have cited unidentified sources, the demand was for payment in Monero. Police Inspector Tommy Broeske said, according to the report, that a ransom demand had been made and “as things now stand, we advise the family not to pay.”