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.

 

Featured Image Credit: photo by "David McBee" via Pexels; licensed under "CC0"

OKEx Lists Compound’s Governance Token COMP

Popular bitcoin exchange OKEx has announced the listing of the COMP token, the governance token of the algorithmic decentralized finance protocol Compound.

According to an announcement OKEx published, spot trading of COMP against Tether’s USDt stablecoin and bitcoin opened up today, June 29, at 6 am UTC. COMP deposits have been available since 5 am, with withdrawals being opened three hours later.

Compound, for those out of the loop, is a decentralized finance protocol launched in 2017 by Robert Leshner and Geoff Hayes. It lets users borrow and lend cryptocurrencies in peer-to-peer transactions. Those who borrow need collateral to do so and must repay the funds with interest, while those who lend receive interest on their holdings.

Rates on Compound are determined by the market and change over time along with the amounts being lent and borrowed. Since its launch, Compound has grown to become a leading DeFi protocol, with over $1 billion worth of assets locked in it.

Compound’s COMP token was launched earlier this month. It’s a governance token, meaning token holders have the right to vote on important decisions that affect the Compound protocol, ranging from technical upgrades to decisions on adding new cryptoassets.

The tokens are distributed to users who interact with the protocol, which incentivized some to borrow and lend on Compound in an attempt to gain more COMP tokens. CryptoCompare data shows these are trading above $230, after falling from a $330 all-time high.

Commenting on the listing Jay Hao, OKEx’s CEO, noted Compound has become the largest player in the DeFi space “thanks to its continued innovation and development,” and is a “shining example of how far development has come in this space. Hao added:

We are extremely pleased to be able to help foster the growth of the DeFi ecosystem alongside Compound. It is our belief at OKEx that DeFi will eventually disrupt traditional finance and provide equal opportunities for everyone to access financial services. This, in turn, helps us to realize our vision at OKEx, which is to #FinanceAll.

In its announcement, OKEx reminded users it prides itself on “offering high-quality projects that bring liquidity to the exchange.” It reiterated that behind every listing is an “exhaustive process of due diligence ensuring that all possible measures are taken to assure projects’ legal qualifications, business models, strength of community and market potential.”

Since its launch, the COMP token has been listed on numerous cryptoassets trading platform as its popularity grows. Its market cap is now above the $500 million mark.

Featured image via Pixabay.