Nasdaq, Citigroup Inc., Galaxy Digital Raise $20 Million in Funding Blockchain Firm Symbiont's Development

Symbiont.io, 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.

Those Banned From Facebook May Not Be Able to Use Its Cryptocurrency Libra

Facebook’s two days of congressional hearings on the social media giant’s cryptocurrency ambitions seemingly revealed that those who have been banned from Facebook may not have access to Libra.

During the congressional hearing Facebook had to answer some tough questions, and one of them came from Representative Sean Duffy, which asked the company’s cryptocurrency head, David Marcus, who’ll have access to Libra.

The Congressman initially asked Marcus who could use the cryptocurrency, to which Calibra’s CEO answered: “anyone that can open a Calibra account, that can go through KYC [know-your-customer checks] in countries where we can operate.”

Duffy then referenced two individuals banned from Facebook for violating its community guidelines, Louis Farrakhan and Milo Yiannopoulo, and asked whether they’ll be able to use the social media giant’s cryptocurrency.

Marcus ended up replying he doesn’t “know yet,” after seeing Duffy hold a $20 bill and ask hin who can use it. His point was that cash doesn’t discriminate, and that anyone who can hold it can use it.

While throughout the hearing Marcus tried to point out the company will follow appropriate regulations and comply with lawmakers, Duffy responded that a proper answer would be “as long as you abide by the law, you can use Libra.” The fact he didn’t get this answer, Duffy said, gave him “great pause.”

Speaking to The Daily Beast Elka Looks, a Facebook spokeswoman, clarified Marcus addressed the Congressman’s concerns later on in the hearing. She stated:

For Libra, anyone who is engaging in lawful activity will be able to transact on the network. Facebook will have no say. For Calibra, there is no policy in place yet, but we will share it when it is closer to being finalized.

The news outlet adds that Calibra, Facebook’s wallet to send, receive, and hold Libra, doesn’t yet have final terms of service or a privacy policy. All of this means that those who’ve been banned on Facebook may not have access to its cryptocurrency.

As CryptoGlobe covered, Congressman Warren Davidson implied during the hearings Facebook’s crypto is a ‘shitcoin’ as it doesn’t have some of the properties bitcoin has. The Congressman made it clear bitcoin has no central authority that can censor transactions or dilute its value, while Libra has the Libbra Association.