Crypto and decentralized finance is not nearly as obscure as many traditional investors will have you believe. On the contrary, DeFi and token technology has been embraced by some of the world’s most innovative companies, if not silently. The original obscurity and nerves by some to get involved have dissipated, but if some worries still remain here’s a few behemoths plunging into DeFi whole hog:
Google’s parent company Alphabet GOOGL has been one of the most active investors in cryptocurrencies and DeFi technology. The innovation goliath invested a whopping $1.5 billion into four separate blockchain companies between September 2021 to June 2022. Those investments included digital custody company Fireblocks, venture capital firm Digital Currency Group, the lightning node infrastructure platform Voltage and blockchain video games company Dapper Labs. As a matter of fact, there does not appear to be an alternative investment vehicle in the crypto sphere that Alphabet has not embraced. Ever since Meta, formerly Facebook, unveiled its plan for the so-called “metaverse,” Alphabet has plowed billions into similarly-related technology. That in itself has opened the door for alternative investments inside the metaverse, like NFTs and digital real estate.
Goldman Sachs GS made history in March this year by becoming the first major US-based bank to complete an over-the-counter cryptocurrency trade. This was a groundbreaking move by a traditional financial institution which has previously remained skeptical of blockchain technology. The trade utilized a non-deliverable Bitcoin-related instrument between itself and cryptocurrency merchant bank Galaxy Digital, a technology-driven firm which provides financial solutions spanning the world of digital assets. One interesting thing to note about Galaxy Digital, is that its founder and current CEO previously worked for Goldman Sachs for 11 years.
South Korean tech giant Samsung SSNLF is also moving heavily into the world of DeFi and cryptocurrencies. According to local media reports, Samsung Securities is currently working on its own cryptocurrency platform scheduled for release in the first half of 2023. If these reports are accurate it would be safe to assume that Samsung, one of the largest companies in the tech field, may even be developing its very own crypto token. These alleged technological investments are just the tip of a very large Samsung-DeFi iceberg, having already invested in Aleo, a platform for building private blockchain applications, and many more leading technologies.
NFTs and digital real estate have been taking the world by storm ever since Meta META, as mentioned earlier, announced its plans to create a digital universe: “metaverse.” Microsoft’s capital venture arm also believes that demand for tokenized art and real estate will stick around, making a $27 million bet on NFT studio Palm. This entity enables the easy development and rollout of large-scale NFT drops on the Palm Network. According to the company’s co-founder and CEO Dan Heyman, Palm Network has envisioned programs to mint millions of NFTs with utility which connect communities and reward true fans of NFT technology.
Some DeFi providers have such potential that multiple tech behemoths have invested in them. This is the case for Talos, which has seen both PayPal PYPL and Wells Fargo WFC invest millions into the company’s institutional-grade infrastructure technology which supports digital asset trading. As a matter of a fact Citigroup, Wells Fargo and BNY Mellon were among multiple investors that valued the crypto-trading firm at a whopping $1.25 billion. With such a valuation, it’s no wonder Talos raised $105 million in a recent Series B funding round.
The list of institutions here is sure to grow as fast as the technology that has intrigued them. The evolution of the sphere is seemingly endless with countless possibilities for individual and global entities to get involved in. One thing is for certain, this originally obscure tech is here to stay.