Blockchain

Funding into blockchain startups should clear the $3bn mark by the end of this year.

That’s according to a report released by technology market monitoring firm Novum Insights, which also found that the UK – followed by Ireland, Singapore and China – has been ranked second in terms of the funding received.

Funding into blockchain companies, the report adds, is up 340% when compared to the $2.4bn raised last year.

Some 25% of the money invested, the report says, has come from venture capital investors, while the remaining 75% has been procured by Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs.

The US is the clear leader in terms of investment in the blockchain space, with $1.3bn going into companies working with distributed ledger technology.

Meanwhile, companies working on blockchain-based payment infrastructure systems have received the most funding ($512.9m), the report shows.

Other sectors seeing noteworthy raises include digital currency wallets, mining and blockchain technology development.

Digital Currency Group and Blockchain Capital are the two most active investors in the sector, both in terms of funds invested and rounds involved in.

According to the data, Blockchain Capital has so far participated in 51 investment rounds, contributing $445m in total.  Digital Currency Group has been involved in 89 rounds worth $413.2m.

Additionally, the data shows that Series A rounds account for most deals, with a total of $756.6m invested.

Toby Lewis, chief executive of Novum Insights, said: “Multi-million-dollar sums are being raised at significant speed, in sales of coins which in the past would have been raised from venture capitalists.

“The booming cryptocurrency markets have subsequently gifted startups with significant funds, and some investors with meaningful returns. At the same time however, many in the sector are raising concerns that the strong performance of ICOs and cryptocurrencies is unsustainable and anticipate a crash.

“The parallels to the dot-com boom of the 1990s seem irresistible, though for the moment it is a highly exciting bull run, with extreme volatility mixed in.”

The findings come after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning about Initial Coin Offerings – branding them “very high-risk, speculative investments”– and UK founded tech startup Blockchain raised a $40m round.