imToken: The $35 Billion Cryptocurrency Wallet

  • ConsensLabs, the Chinese startup that developed the very popular cryptocurrency wallet imToken, has received $10 million in funding from IDG Capital.
  • The company will use this money to fund the expansion of this app into other markets, for development of new features, and to hire additional staff.

imToken, which claims to be the world’s largest Ethereum wallet with over four million monthly active users, has announced that it has secured $10 million in Series A funding from IDG Capital

imToken was developed by a Chinese startup called ConsensLabs, founded in 2016, and based in the city of Guangzhou. It achieved instant popularity by being the first cryptocurrency wallet in China that supported the Ethereum blockchain, such that you could use it to hold any Ethereum (ERC-20) token, such as Icon (ICX) or Auger (REP).

Although version 2.0 of imToken has quite a few interesting features -- such as support for multiple blockchain, offline signing, a DApp browser, and mobile-to-mobile token swap via Tokenlon, an in-app decentralised trading platform based on both Kyber Network and 0x protocol -- what is most remarkable about imToken, is that, according to Bloomberg, its users stored $35 billion in cryptoassets there over the past year; in comparison, Coinbase, says it held just over $20 billion in cryptoassets.

Consenslabs plans to use this $10 million in three ways: 

  • to fund the launch of imToken 2.0 in other markets -- starting with South East Asia, then moving to other Asian countries such as India, South Korea, and Japan, before moving to Africa, and finally United States and the rest of the world; currently, 70% of the users are based in China;
  • for development of new features, such as support for other blockchains, merchant payments, and additional security features to handle the needs of institutional investors; and
  • to increase the number of employees to 30 (from 10 in 2017)

The company will study the local regulations of each market carefully before launching its imToken app there. Founder and CEO Ben He told Techcrunch: "Regulations are maturing quickly and as a result we’re doing our due diligence amid increasing scrutiny from local government."

In an interview with Bloomberg, He said: “We noticed very early the potential of Ethereum and focused on it to differentiate against competitors... The growth has been completely organic. We didn’t have any marketing or promotional budget.”

It must be noted that this is not IDG Capital's first investment in China -- in fact, it was the first firm to bring foreign venture capital into China -- or into the crypto space, for example, it has also invested in Coinbase and Circle.

 

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U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Looks at Ripple and XRP for Remittance

Michael LaVere

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has given XRP a nod for its use in cross-border money transfers. 

According to a paper published on May 11, the CFPB has been researching new developments in the remittance market, including trends related to digital currencies. The organization, which is responsible for protecting consumers in the financial sector, wrote on the “continued growth and expanding partnerships” of companies such as Ripple. 

The paper also noted the use of XRP for settlement of cross-border money transfers:

“The Bureau has continued to monitor...the continued growth and expanding partnerships of virtual currency companies, such as Ripple, which offer both a payments messaging platform to support cross-border money transfers as well as a virtual currency, XRP, which can be used to effect settlement of those transfers.”

Interestingly, the CFPB seemed to praise Ripple for bringing simplicity and transparency to the banking industry:

“To the degree banks and credit unions increase their reliance on closed network payment systems for sending remittance transfers and other cross-border money transfers, the Bureau notes that this could result in greater standardization and ease by which sending institutions can know exact covered third-party fees and exchange rates.

"The Bureau also believes that expanded adoption of SWIFT’s gpi product or Ripple’s suite of products could similarly allow banks and credit unions to know the exact final amount that recipients of remittance transfers will receive before they are sent.”

Stuart Alderoty, General Counsel at Ripple, seemed happy with the report's findings:

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