Visa has been moving deeper and deeper into the cryptocurrency space. The card company recently pledged its full support for Libra, the cryptocurrency being developed by Facebook, and it’s now put millions of dollars into a new blockchain startup called Anchorage.
Is Anchorage Getting Special Treatment?
You’re probably wondering, “What’s so special about this place?” Well, Anchorage has a way of attracting big investors… Institutional investors, to be exact. Many people claim that the presence of institutional players in the crypto space is what’s necessary to legitimize it, and Anchorage is taking this next step of gathering the right people.
The company secures the investments of institutional players in the crypto space. It also doesn’t hurt that Anchorage helped bring Libra to light. Overall, it’s estimated that the credit and debit card conglomerate invested approximately $40 million into the company’s operations. It’s also the second-largest investment Visa has made in a cryptocurrency company, the first occurring roughly four years ago when the company placed funds into Chain, an enterprise blockchain company that works with Stellar.
Up until recent months, Anchorage was a relatively unknown conglomerate. Then, on June 18, its logo appeared among the several companies that were pledging loyalty and support for the Libra Association. David Marcus, who heads Facebook’s blockchain division, has explained that Facebook is only one entity behind Libra, and that the company will possess minimal control over the currency.
Among the other companies slated to hold stakes in Libra include Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and of course, Anchorage. This move has garnered both praise and concern at the same time. For one thing, Facebook, which has been riddled with scandals for the past few years – including Cambridge Analytica – has scared many people into thinking that their financial data is in danger should they decide to engage in Facebook’s crypto plans and utilize Libra to purchase goods and services.
However, the idea that many companies will supervise Libra rather than just Facebook itself has caused several people to reconsider the matter carefully. At the same time, several analysts have accused Facebook of potentially running a centralized digital asset through its present schemes, which go against the very notions of cryptocurrency in the first place.
Crypto is designed to be decentralized; an entity that virtually anyone can use to garner the supplies and goods they need for survival. If there are several companies dictating the currency’s usage, this could potentially get in the way.
Head Honchos Were Impressed
The funding round for Anchorage was led by Blockchain Capital. Managing partner of the firm Bart Stephens comments that Anchorage’s technology is among the most impressive he’s ever seen. He states:
“I found it to be the most compelling product demo I’ve seen in seven years, having reviewed 4,500 companies.”