Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has announced the launch of a $1 billion fund to support blockchain investments. Huobi also announced a similar fund to the tune of $93 million to fund blockchain initiatives in China and South Korea.
During the announcement by Binance Lab head Ella Zhang in a press conference on May 31, 2018, Binance revealed it would work with 20 selected fund partners to collaborate on the project, and it will provide financial support using its BNB coins, in addition to advisory support.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao lent his public support to the ICO method of raising funds for blockchain projects, as against the Venture Capitalist method. Earlier in May 2018, Zhao described ICOs as a “necessary” function of the crypto market and suggested that raising capital through ICOs is much easier than raising from institutional investors.
The Binance fund would thus seem to be a further endorsement of Zhao’s point of view which holds that blockchain projects should be able to raise funds without subjecting themselves to the difficulties of the orthodox investment market.
Under the framework of the Binance fund, all selected partners will be reputable long-term investors with an ideological investment in cryptocurrency, and an asset portfolio of not less than $100 million. All prospective applicants will need to provide proof of their asset holdings and pass through a screening by Binance Lab to become Binance fund partners.
The current focus of Binance Lab centers around decentralized exchanges, crypto derivatives trading, public chain and other consumer-focused blockchain projects with the potential to achieve mass adoption. To this end, it was revealed during May 2018 that the blockchain-based ride-sharing application Chen Weixing is developing would be its first incubation project.
Huobi Follows the Trend
Across Asia and the rest of the world, cryptocurrency exchanges are also planning to make moves similar to that of Binance. It was announced on June 1, 2018, that the world’s third-largest crypto exchange Huobi, is putting together a $93 million China-South Korea fund to invest in blockchain businesses in both countries. The fund is being launched in partnership with Chinese investment firm NewMargin Capital and South Korean securities firm Kiwoom Securities Co Ltd.
Source: Respective official websites
As part of the deal, it was announced that a consortium of Korean banks including Korea Development Bank and Industrial Bank Of Korea would put an unspecified amount of capital into the fund in a capacity as limited partners. Also joining the fund is the Korean independent financial services group Mirae Asset Financial Group, which is coming in as an investor.
According to reports, the China-South Korean fund aims to catalyze and ease cooperation between blockchain initiatives spanning both countries. Both deals indicate a growing trend whereby crypto exchanges invest in the development of blockchain applications and blockchain education around the world from Bermuda to Uganda.