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PayPal’s First Blockchain Investment Is an Identity Ownership-Driven Start-Up

PayPal has joined the investment group responsible for Series A funding in Cambridge Blockchain, a start-up based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is working towards giving individuals a way to safeguard their online identities without the need of middle parties such as social mediums. Cambridge’s concept replicates cryptocurrencies, which allows users to hold value without the need of a bank.

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This is PayPal’s maiden investment in Blockchain. The company is looking at how it can leverage Cambridge Blockchain to allow its users to validate their identity without inputting any personal information. The announcement was made yesterday, April 2, 2019. Prior to this, PayPal had filed a patent in March 2018 to –

  • Speed up cryptocurrency transaction rates
  • Reward employees if they participate in using tokens issued on a blockchain

However, this announcement, in particular, hints on how serious PayPal, valued at $121 billion, is about using Blockchain for its business in the near future.

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“Our service helps streamline digital identity compliance while giving customers control over their identity data. What might interest PayPal more is the fact that Cambridge’s software is made in conjunction with compliance towards European financial institutions. With GDPR snowballing into a roadblock for businesses, PayPal can be one of the early appliers of rolling-out Blockchain based currency platform for its users in Europe,” said Matthew Commons, Cambridge Blockchain’s CEO.

Some of the other attributes of Cambridge’s Blockchain are –

  • Streamlining know-your-customer (KYC) compliance
  • PSD2, a European payments directive

Other investors that are a part of the Series A funding are –

  • Omidyar Network and Flourish
  • Foxconn’s HCM Capital
  • Partech Partners
  • Future\Perfect Ventures
  • Digital Currency Group

The investment is a result of Cambridge Blockchain working directly with PayPal corporate ventures in 2018. Both companies have not revealed the amount of investment by PayPal. Cambridge will spend the money on new hires, R&D and market expansion and acquisition.

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