Corporate titans are beginning to recognize the tremendous potential of crypto and blockchain technology. Capital is flowing into this nascent market as corporate investors seek to grab their share of the industry's growth.
Here are a couple of recent deals that are particularly noteworthy.
Visa's crypto-focused investment
Digital payments titan Visa (NYSE:V) took part in a $40 million funding round for cryptocurrency custody services company Anchorage.
Anchorage plans to offer secure, institutional-grade custody services that support a broad array of digital assets. The company also seeks to go beyond just the safekeeping of assets by helping its clients participate in governance decisions and capture returns from "staking" (essentially, this is like earning interest from holding a coin).
"This investment is consistent with Visa's global strategy to partner with and invest in emerging fintech companies," Visa executive Terry Angelos said in a press release. "We're pleased to add Anchorage to our growing investment portfolio."
Other notable investors include venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Blockchain Capital. "We believe Anchorage is the safest place to hold digital assets, having modernized crypto custody beyond physical cold storage with advanced security engineering," Blockchain Capital co-founder and managing partner Bart Stephens said.
Stephens went on to say that he believes Anchorage could have a "transformative impact on the financial world. ... As our industry evolves, a growing number of crypto networks will depend on asset holders' active participation in staking and governance," Stephens said. "Anchorage's next-generation custody solution is ideally positioned to help investors keep up with the future direction of crypto networks."
By providing highly secure custody services to professional investors, Anchorage could make it easier for institutional capital to flow into the cryptocurrency market.
Uber's blockchain partnership
Uber Health is a subsidiary of ride-sharing leader Uber (NYSE:UBER) focused on the unique transportation needs of healthcare organizations and their patients. To better fulfill its unique mission, Uber Health is partnering with blockchain healthcare platform Solve.Care to provide medical transport rides.
"Every year, an estimated 3.6 million Americans miss their medical appointments due to a lack of reliable transportation, with the cost of missed primary care appointments estimated at $150 billion annually," Uber Health executive Dan Trigub said in a press release. "At Uber Health, we are always looking for ways to ensure that transportation is not a barrier to care."
Solve.Care uses blockchain technology for the administration, coordination, and payment of healthcare benefits. Patients will be able to use its Care.Wallet, a personal healthcare app, to schedule rides through Uber.
"Through our partnership with Uber Health, Solve.Care is bringing managed transportation benefits to healthcare programs and allows transportation to be integrated into the specific care needs of a patient," Solve.Care CEO Pradeep Goel said. "By offering access to this non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) service, we expect to improve the results of clinical delivery, and reduce overall healthcare costs for everyone."
One of the promises of blockchain technology is the ability to improve the reliability and efficiency of traditionally managed systems. If Uber's partnership with Solve.Care can help bring these advances to the medical transport market, the benefits to healthcare providers and their patients could be significant.