Top investor Baillie Gifford joins Bitcoin rush with $100m funding for Britain’s Blockchain.com

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Blockchain.com, which was founded after a split between co-founder Ben Reeves and Coinbase chief Brian Armstrong, had previously announced the funding round but had not disclosed Baillie Gifford’s involvement.

Peter Smith, Blockchain.com’s chief executive, said that the company expects to go public at some point, but that it had seen a surplus of interest from private investors, with orders of $900m – three times what it raised. 

“We want to do it when the moment’s right for us, and we’re figuring out when that is,” he said. He declined to comment on whether any float might take place in London or New York.

Mr Smith also gave his backing to Rishi Sunak’s plan for a digital pound announced earlier this week.

The Chancellor said the Treasury and Bank of England would explore a central bank digital currency, which he dubbed “Britcoin” and which would be designed to spur innovation in payments.

“You’ll be able to get any major asset ‘on chain’ five years from now,” Mr Smith said, referring to the blockchain database technology that powers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. “The countries and companies that do it sooner will have a huge advantage.”

A Baillie Gifford spokesperson said: ““Baillie Gifford has a long history of backing transformational growth companies at their early stages. We have a growing conviction not only in Blockchain.com’s management team and value proposition, but in its ability to make long-term investment returns for our clients.”

Blockchain.com continues to be majority owned by insiders including its three founders, Mr Smith, Mr Reeves and Nicolas Cary.

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