Blockchain firm Ripple, whose digital currency has seen huge volatility
in recent months, is investing in a $150 million blockchain-focused fund. Ripple, which owns about 60 billion of the 100 billion ripple, or XRP, tokens created, said Wednesday that it would invest $25 million into the fund, created by Blockchain Capital, a venture capital firm dedicated to blockchain tech. Blockchain is the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies. It records a continuously growing list of transactions across a distributed network. The original blockchain was used as the foundation for bitcoin. Ripple said its investment would allow it to develop inroads with entrepreneurs and other companies in the blockchain space.
"This is the first fund that we've contributed to, and it won't be the last," Patrick Griffin, senior vice president of strategic growth at Ripple, said in a statement Wednesday. "We plan to be major players in shaping the future generation of blockchain or crypto companies." Ripple seems to have shown increasing interest in investing in other companies as of late. CEO Brad Garlinghouse told TechCrunch in March that the firm wanted to invest in more start-ups that want to use its cryptocurrency.
Ripple has struck several partnerships with banks and other financial firms, with the intention of enabling faster payments. Those partnerships have rarely included the use of its digital asset, but earlier this year the company announced deals with both Western Union and MoneyGram. Its cryptocurrency, which hit a record high of $3 in January, has pulled back significantly to around 50 cents. It rose shortly after the announcement, and was up almost 0.9 percent, according to CoinDesk data. CoinDesk's price indexes track prices from several cryptocurrency exchanges.
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