BlockFi scores new funding from Coinbase Ventures, sets sights on international expansion | Fidelity is reportedly aiming to launch its bitcoin custody business in March | Media company Cheddar partners with Brave to unlock premium content for free

Bitcoin $3,457                    Ethereum $106.20       
Crypto Mkt Cap $113B              BTC Dominance 53.4%  

“As an investor, [I] don’t want to put my capital into a jurisdiction where I may not be able to get it out. I want to invest in products, and business, and work with companies that have real backing. Where I know if I had an issue I can call someone. Where I know that my money is safe.” - Meltem Demirors, CSO at Coinshares

The Big Block

Coinbase Ventures is joining the growing list of investors backing crypto lending, providing a follow-on to BlockFi’s $4 million convertible note issuance in December.

Other participants in the extension include Able Partners, with the structure of the deal unknown at this time. The firm declined to comment on how much the two new backers invested. 

As reported by Bloomberg, BlockFi has seen its revenues and customer-base grow 10-fold since June, riding a bullish wave sweeping crypto lending firms. A diverse set of investors have picked up on the New York-based firm’s successes. The firm has raised nearly $60 million to date — a mixture of lending and equity capital — with a roster of investors that includes the likes of Fidelity, Susquehanna, and SoFi; among other mainstay crypto names like ConsenSys and Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, which previously backed the firm in a $52.5 million round in July.   

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Around The Block

Media company Cheddar partners with Brave to unlock premium content for free

In what could be one of the most visible partnerships with the thus-far beleaguered Brave browser, Cheddar is now using it to offer users three months of free access to premium content. The companies state that the partnership could fund hundreds of thousands of subscriptions out of Brave’s 5.5 million monthly active users. — More

Meltem Demirors in Davos: ‘People were investing in projects at multi-billion dollar valuations without a single line of code being shipped’

Speaking in Davos at an event co-hosted by The Block and E8 Partners, Meltem Demirors, CoinShares’ CSO, spoke about investing in crypto assets and blockchain tech. Demirors’ journey into crypto began by buying bitcoin on the now-disgraced crypto exchange Mt Gox.

“So you’re wiring money into this random exchange in Japan and you are hoping you don’t lose all your money,” she joked. Five years later, she’s a C-level exec at CoinShares, the digital asset investment manager. She holds the familiar job of attracting institutional investors to crypto and blockchain-based opportunities. She also serves as the managing director of the firm’s US operations, choosing where to invest; from protocols, networks, to applications. — More

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