Nasdaq, Citigroup Inc., Galaxy Digital Raise $20 Million in Funding Blockchain Firm Symbiont's Development, a New York-based firm focused on leveraging blockchain technology to improve traditional capital markets, has drawn $20 million in investment. Notably, Symbiont has received funding from giant American investment bank, Citigroup Inc. and Nasdaq Inc., the owner of the world’s second-largest stock exchange.

Nasdaq Ventures, a subsidiary of the $10 trillion exchange operator focused on investing in emerging fintech, is reportedly the lead investor in Symbiont’s series B funding round. Other prominent investors that participated in the series B included Michael Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Holdings, a company that operates a cryptocurrency merchant bank. Raptor Group Holdings, an investment firm backed by billionaire Jim Pallotta, also took part in Symbiont’s funding round.

Having Realistic Expectations About Blockchain

Commenting on the need to have realistic expectations from crypto and blockchain technology, Mark Smith, Symbiont’s CEO, remarked:

We are entering a much more realistic phase where people look at this technology and think seriously about where it makes sense to apply it and where it doesn’t. We are leaving the peak of the hype cycle and entering the trough of disillusionment, especially for people who inappropriately applied this technology hoping it would become a panacea for solving all their problems.

Similar to many other cryptocurrency platforms including Komodo, Symbiont has its own blockchain and smart contract development platform (called Assembly). Symbiont has also partnered with the Vanguard Group, an American investment advisor with over $5.1 trillion in assets under management (AUM). The partnership involves utilizing Symbiont’s blockchain-based software to more effectively index financial data for various mutual funds investments provided by the Vanguard Group.

According to Bloomberg, Symbiont will use the funds raised to help it develop a platform that will allow users to better manage financial data. This may include information related to syndicated loans, home mortgages, and private equity. Nasdaq’s management team is also reportedly planning to explore different use cases for Symbiont’s Assembly platform. The New York-based exchange operator is currently working with clients who are interested in using smart contracts and tokenized assets.

Symbiont Is Founding Member Of Crypto Self-Regulatory Group

As CryptoGlobe reported in late November 2018, Symbiont was among a group of two financial services and technology firms that established the Association for Digital Asset Markets (ADAM). This group aims to develop a Code of Conduct for cryptocurrency markets.

As a “broad-based organization”, ADAM intends to ”proactively seek comprehensive standards” for digital asset market participants. The self-regulatory organization is reportedly working with regulatory authorities to create “rules for the efficient trading, custody, clearing and settlement of digital assets.” ADAM’s founding members, which also include Galaxy Digital, aim to address issues related to market manipulation.

Facebook and Amazon Stock Hit New Highs as Stock Market Outperforms Economy

The price of Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) stock hit a new all-time high amid the coronavirus pandemic, as the stock market has been outperforming the economy.

According to available data, Facebook stock is now trading above $230 marking a new all-time high for the social media giant. Its positive performance comes shortly after it launched Facebook Shops, a platform that makes it easier for small businesses to sell to its billions of users amid the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking to CNBC Todd Gordon, managing director at Ascent Wealth Partners, said FB stock has been having a “very impressive” performance, noting that Facebook’s move up is “pretty spectacular.”

FB stock chartSource: Google

Facebook Shops gives the social media giant a new source of revenue, at a time in which advertisers are spending less because of the crisis. It comes as the deadline to launch the Libra cryptocurrency project approaches.

Amazon has been managing to outperform Facebook, however, as the e-commerce giant recently hit a new all-time high close to the $2,500 mark. AMZN stock dipped shortly after hitting it but has since recovered, and ahead of the opening bell is at $2,451.

The e-commerce giant’s performance comes after it reported gains in the first quarter of the year amid the coronavirus outbreak, as demand went up. It further announced it will be using all of its second-quarter earnings, of around $4 billion, in response to the crisis.

Amazon Stock price chartSource: Google

Stock Market Outperforms Economy

Other blue-chip stocks have been performing rather well, despite the toll the pandemic has taken on the global economy. According to Yahoo Finance, data from April included dismal jobs numbers and poor retail numbers, which led economists to lower their economic growth forecasts.

This month Goldman Sachs cut its GDP forecasts and warned the unemployment rate in the United States will reach 25%, while Credit Suisse economists warned a “longer growth slump will outlast fiscal relief.”

Economists from Bank of America said that the recession will be “unlike anything we have seen in modern history,” after claiming GDP in the second quarter of the year would fall at a 40% rate. Large firms in the S&P 500 index have, however, posted better results than expected.

Credit Suisse’s Jonathan Golub was quoted as saying:

  • Although aggregate earnings are beating estimates by +2.6%, ex-Financials, earnings are surpassing expectations by +7.1%, with 65% of companies exceeding their lowered projections.

These better than-expected-results help, according to some analysts, explain the rise in the stock markets.

Featured image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash