Bitcoin & blockchain investment surges to $290m in first half of 2016

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Investment in bitcoin and blockchain related companies is surging, with a new study published Tuesday finally putting a figure to the investment boom.

According to Juniper Research, venture capital investment into bitcoin and blockchain companies came in at $290 million for the first six months of the calendar year, with over 30 startups receiving funding during that period.

Of the total figure three companies account for more nearly half of all investments: Circle Internet Financial, Inc. which raised $60 million Series D in June as part of its push into China; Blockstream, which raised $55 million Series A in February; and Digital Asset Holdings LLC, which raised $52 million in January.

The study noted that there is an increasing diversification in blockchain deployments across a broad spectrum of uses, however its use in fintech applications in banking sector led the pack, with a number of firms currently trialing solutions.

Ripple Labs, Inc. was pointed out as a leading company in the fintech blockchain field as it is now working with 12 of the top 50 banks worldwide, including three of Australia’s largest four banks: Westpac Banking Corp., The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. and The Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd.

Caution

While the report, titled The Future of Blockchain: Bitcoin, Remittance, ID Verification & Smart Contracts 2016-2021, was positive on blockchain, it did provide a note of caution suggesting that if smart contracts use the blockchain their contents, including, potentially bugs and flaws, are visible to all the users of that blockchain. The study cited the recent case where the DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation) network was attacked using a key exploit in the DAO code in conjunction with the DAO’s splitting function.

“While blockchain technology offers the potential for increased speed, transparency and security across an array of verticals, there has to be rigorous and robust roadtesting in each unique use case before any decision is taken,” Juniper Research researcher Dr. Windsor Holden said in a statement sent to SiliconANGLE.

Although advice that may seem obvious to many in the blockchain industry, it’s advice that is always worth repeating.

A copy of the report can be obtained from the Juniper Research website here.

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