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Alphabet’s Google among Leading Blockchain Investors

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Jan. 3 2018, Updated 7:34 a.m. ET

Roughly $1.2 billion put into blockchain companies

Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google has emerged as one of the corporate active backers of blockchain startups in recent years, according to a report by CB Insights. The report states that corporations have participated in more than 140 equity investments totaling roughly $1.2 billion in the blockchain sector since 2012.

Japan-based (EWJ) venture capital firm SBI Holdings tops the list of the most active blockchain investors, with investments in eight blockchain startups. SBI Holdings’ blockchain investments include cryptocurrency exchanges Kraken and Ripple.

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Google’s blockchain investment goes to LedgerX

Google comes second after SBI Holdings in the number of blockchain investments. Google has invested in six blockchain-focused companies since 2012, and its investments include cryptocurrency derivatives-trading platform LedgerX, data storage provider Storj, and merchant services provider Veem.

Online retailer Overstock.com (OSTK) is also active in blockchain investing. It is ranked the third-most-active blockchain investor and Google and SBI Holdings. US-based (SPY) lenders Citigroup (C) and Goldman Sachs are ranked fourth and fifth in the most active blockchain investors, respectively.

Pursuing profits in blockchain sector

Google’s investments in blockchain could be inspired by several factors. One possible inspiration might be that Google sees a bright future for blockchain technology, so it expects to profit from its equity investment in blockchain startups. Blockchain is the technology that underlies cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

The other possible inspiration for Google’s blockchain investment might be that the company is trying to incubate blockchain innovations that it could apply to enhance its corporate processes.

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