Global online payments firm, PayPal, has made their first ever investment in a blockchain startup, as was reported by Forbes on April 2. The startup called Cambridge Blockchain focuses on leveraging the technology to give users more control over their digital identities.
Even though the amount of the payments giant’s investment has not been released either by PayPal or by Cambridge Blockchain, recent filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission reveal that Cambridge Blockchain has raised $3.5 million in fresh equity over in the course of the nine months since May 2018.
The $3.5 million for the Series A extension includes a new investment from self-described philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network, alongside PayPal. With regard to PayPal’s foray into blockchain-powered digital identity management, an anonymous spokesperson mentioned,
“We made an investment in Cambridge Blockchain because it is applying blockchain for digital identity in a way that we believe could benefit financial services companies including PayPal.”
He also mentioned that PayPal will focus its exploration of blockchain for financial applications.
Cambridge Blockchain has collaborated with major players like Microsoft, IBM, Mastercard, and Accenture, under the canopy of a non-profit organization dubbed the Decentralized Identity Foundation.
According to Forbes, Cambridge Blockchain will be using the Series A and extension funding to focus on research and development and will also expand its workforce in Boston, Paris and Beijing. The report also elaborates that the Cambridge Blockchain CEO Matthew Commons had first collaborated with PayPal as part of the firm’s co-hosted accelerator Fintech Europe 2018, which focuses on helping startups to grapple with Europe’s rigorous data privacy framework — the General Data Protection Regulation.
As previously reported, PayPal’s co-founder, Luke Nosek, has already elaborated about the firm’s aspirations for a digital currency that would be independent from banks and governments, similar to crypto. PayPal, whose active number of users surpassed 254 million in Q3 of last year, launched a blockchain-based reward system for its employees in December 2018.