Labor market analysis is my passion. In a past life, I worked as a labor market analyst at a Canadian research center specializing in the IT sector. Tech workers have always loved higher demand, higher wages, and lower unemployment than workers in the rest of the economy.
Although blockchain and cryptography did not actually exist in my time, these new technologies are now driving the explosive growth of an industry evolving from Web2 to Web3. This week’s Crypto Biz newsletter highlights the growing demand for cryptocurrencies in the traditional finance and payments industry. We also cover the latest funding news from the blockchain world.
Visa Seeks New Undergraduate Students for Cryptocurrency Development Program
Credit card giant Visa is inviting recent college graduates to join its Cryptocurrency Development Program, an 18-month “rotational development experience” designed to train the next generation of cryptocurrency professionals. Visa says it wants to build a “complete crypto team now and in the future” as it continues to roll out crypto-centric products and solutions. Visa has made it clear that it doesn’t want to miss out on the digital asset revolution. In December, the company announced the launch of a new cryptocurrency advisory service for merchants and banks. Last September, the company confirmed that it was working on a blockchain interoperability project intended to be used as a “network of blockchain networks.”
Specialized groups of programmers work successfully in traditional financial firms.
As digital assets continue to reach the masses, niche cryptocurrencies are quickly becoming the norm in traditional financial institutions. Perhaps the most prominent example of this is Nomura Holdings, a Japanese financial holding that recently created a new digital asset division. In an interview with Cointelegraph, Christopher Tim, CEO of BitFlyer in the US, said the trend is likely to continue as more customers ask their financial institutions to provide access to cryptocurrency markets. As it turns out, Goldman Sachs is already listening to its customers by providing access to Galaxy Digital Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) funds. As financial institutions create dedicated cryptocurrency stores, you can expect many cryptocurrency-focused hubs to emerge in the near future.
ConsenSys raised $450 million in Series D funding, doubling its valuation in four months.
Crypto Biz would not be complete without another major funding announcement from the blockchain industry. This week, blockchain infrastructure provider ConsenSys announced it has raised $450 million in Series D funding led by ParaFi Capital, with additional participation from Temasek, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Microsoft, among others. ConsenSys managed to double its valuation to over $7 billion just four months after Cointelegraph announced that the company’s valuation had surpassed $3 billion. Ratings are rising fast when using MetaMask, one of the leading crypto wallets and browser extensions. According to ConsenSys, MetaMask now has over 30 million monthly active users.
Crypto-Quantum Gauntlet valued at $1 billion after Series B.
The cryptocurrency, led by the former Wall Street leader, managed to raise $23.8 million in Series B funding this week, taking the company’s total value to $1 billion, according to the funding news. Gauntlet, a new “crypto unicorn” under consideration, provides financial modeling tools for the decentralized finance industry (DeFi). In other words, DeFi platforms help determine the optimal levels of lending and collateral to improve capital efficiency and mitigate risk. Notable Gauntlet clients include Aave and Compound, which are among the top 10 DeFi projects by market cap and total locked value. While the DeFi sector may be off the radar at the moment, don’t be surprised if it starts making headlines again. This can happen faster than you think.
before you leave!
2022 seems like an unpredictable year for cryptocurrencies, but that shouldn’t stop you from building a well-diversified portfolio of digital assets. The latest issue of The Market Report contains the best cryptocurrencies for 2022 from local analysts Jordan Finneset and Marcel Pechman and together with you. Each of us has chosen a basket of four cryptocurrencies that we believe have the potential to outperform the market in 2022. You can watch the replay below.