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Major tech funds’ backing could signal a new dawn for token sales. But should crypto rejoice?

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Major tech funds’ backing could signal a new dawn for token sales. But should crypto rejoice? 1
Major tech funds’ backing could signal a new dawn for token sales. But should crypto rejoice? 2

Major tech funds’ backing could signal a new dawn for token sales. But should crypto rejoice? 

by Ryan Weeks
Major tech funds’ backing could signal a new dawn for token sales. But should crypto rejoice? 3
Quick Takes
  • Hedge fund giants Coatue and Tiger both invested in Braintrust’s recent $100 million token sale — only the second and first token investment they have made, respectively.
  • Their involvement could bring significant growth and legitimacy to the market, but what does it mean for the development of web3?
The crypto industry went all out on hiring this year, spending millions of dollars to attract key talent from tech companies across the world.

Throughout this year, The Block documented the steady talent drain from traditional finance and tech, and have observed that token incentives are one of the main selling points for jumping ship. According to The New York Times, Google’s weekly executive agenda now includes a discussion on retention — including keeping staff from going to crypto firms.

For this article, The Block collected responses from 27 crypto firms detailing how many people they hired this year and their current headcount. The numbers show that companies expanded rapidly, particularly in the first half of this year, with many doubling or even tripling their headcount. If 2021 was the year that venture capitalists embraced token investing, 2022 could be the year in which even deeper-pocketed investors join the party.

On December 9, decentralized talent network Braintrust raised $100 million through a private token sale. Coatue Management led the raise, marking only the second time the hedge fund has purchased tokens.

Coatue is run by Philippe Laffont, one of the “tiger cubs” — so-called for earning their stripes at Julian Robertson’s tech investment giant Tiger Global Management before going on to set up funds of their own. Tiger also invested in Braintrust’s latest round — its inaugural foray into the world of tokens.

According to their latest filings, Coatue has $48 billion in assets under management, while Tiger boasts $95 billion. They have made 11 and 22 crypto investments, respectively, according to Dealroom data.

The firms’ newfound taste for tokens could have mammoth implications for crypto — particularly for decentralized finance protocols, entities that are generally governed by token holders. 

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Major tech funds’ backing could signal a new dawn for token sales. But should crypto rejoice? 4
You Should Know
DeFi wallet DeBank raises $25 million in equity funding round
Founded in 2018, China-based DeBank is now valued at $200 million. Its total funding to date is unclear as the startup has previously raised two funding rounds of undisclosed amounts. DeBank did not announce how it plans to use the fresh capital.
Read Full Story
In 2021, ‘L1’ blockchains took the spotlight — thanks to DeFi
Talk of potential Ethereum killers dates back several years. But it wasn’t until 2021 that legitimate alternatives to Ethereum finally took the spotlight, and by then they had a new name: L1s
Read Full Story
Kraken CEO says forthcoming platform will enable NFT-collateralized loans
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell says the exchange’s forthcoming non-fungible token (NFT) platform will provide services to allow customers to extract additional value from their collectibles.
Read Full Story
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The trading volume of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) surpassed $13 billion in the year 2021, according to The Block Research. That figure, based on data as of December 28, is a massive 42,988% increase compared to 2020 NFT trading volumes. Last year, NFTs had a trading volume of just over $33 million.
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