Microsoft invests in Ethereum co-founder’s blockchain company

Microsoft Corp., Temasek Holdings Pte and SoftBank Group Corp. invested in Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin’s blockchain-technology company ConsenSys Inc. at a $7 billion valuation, more than twice what it was valued at in November.

ConsenSys raised $450 million from the three giants and existing backers including Dan Loeb’s Third Point in a Series D funding round, according to an emailed statement Tuesday.

SoftBank invested through its Vision Fund 2. The valuation jumped from $3.2 billion in ConsenSys’s previous round.

Raising the money was “relatively easy,” Lubin, ConsenSys’s founder and chief executive officer, said in an interview.

He said the company has business ties with Microsoft and has attracted some of the software maker’s clients to its Quorum service, which enables enterprises to operate large-scale blockchain networks.

ConsenSys will use the proceeds to buy Ether for its treasury, which holds the second-largest cryptocurrency along with stablecoins and other digital tokens.

The funding will also support the expansion of MetaMask, a crypto wallet that clients can use to access various blockchain apps, Lubin said, adding that ConsenSys is planning a major redesign of the product this year.

MetaMask has more than 30 million monthly active users, according to the statement, up 42% from four months ago. ConsenSys also said it expects to have more than 1,000 employees by year-end, compared with almost 700 now.

Lubin also downplayed the threat that Ethereum might lose its dominance in so-called decentralized finance applications, dismissing it as “not even a remote possibility.” That’s because Ethereum has stronger security than some smaller blockchains like Solana, he said.

Now read: Why South Africa is cracking down on big cryptocurrency exchanges

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Microsoft invests in Ethereum co-founder’s blockchain company