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ConsenSys Targets Crypto Privacy and Adoption With New Investments

Originally published on: CoinDesk
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March 07, 2019

The venture capital arm of ethereum development studio ConsenSys is continuing to invest in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space with the backing of two early-stage startups.

ConsenSys Ventures announced Thursday that it invested $1.15 million investment in zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) cryptography startup Ligero, while Philippines-based cryptocurrency exchange PDAX received an undisclosed sum.

Kavita Gupta, founder of ConsenSys Ventures, told CoinDesk that the PDAX funding was a “one time payment of significant amount.”

Gupta said in the announcement:

“We continue to see privacy and the accessibility of exchanges to be two of the major pain-points for broader adoption of digital assets and blockchain technology. Both of these companies are taking unique approaches to solving these problems.”

PDAX is regulated by both the central bank of the Philippines and the country’s securities regulator, and is expected to launch its platform in Q2 of this year, according to ConsenSys Ventures.

The Philippines sees a high volume of remittance inflow and “a steadily increasing percentage is being coursed through cryptocurrencies,” it added.

“Not only do we hope to enable lower cost and facilitate faster processing for remittance and other P2P [peer-to-peer] payments, but we are also seeking to address long-standing inefficiencies in the Philippine financial markets,” said PDAX co-founder and chief strategy officer Yang Yang Zhang.

Ligero, on the other hand, aims to launch a platform that will “enable private smart contracts, decentralized exchanges, and private machine learning on and off blockchains.” The firm is building a “scalable” protocol for secure multi-party computation  and ZKP.

“A ZKP guarantees privacy for only one participant; if you want to collaborate on sensitive data among many actors, you need multiparty computation,” said Ligero co-founder and CTO Muthu Venkitasubramaniam.

In January, ConsenSys also invested in three other blockchain startups: Iceland-based “e-money” blockchain startup Monerium, Paris-based crypto wallet and trading platform Coinhouse and Tenta, which is building an encryption-centric browser.

Last November, the firm also led a $2.1 million seed round for ethereum privacy startup AZTEC, and in October invested $6.5 million in blockchain startup DrumG Technologies, founded by a former R3 executive.

Kavita Gupta image via CoinDesk archives 

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