What is apparently a first for the online payments company, PayPal, the firm has made an investment in Cambridge Blockchain, a startup that utilizes technology to allow users to have more control over digital identity.
The investment from PayPal is part of an extension that was part of a Series A funding for the startup. The company had raised $7M in May of 2018. The amount invested by PayPal is unknown, but records show that Cambridge Blockchain has raised $3.5M since May 2018.
Original investments came from companies such as Partech Ventures, a technology investment firm, and Digital Currency Group, which is part of Foxconn, a manufacturer of iPhones in Taiwan. Part of the $3.5M in new investments came from Omidyar Network, which is a philanthropic investment company.
Cambridge Blockchain is part of a non-profit organization known as Decentralized Identity Foundation with such well-known names as Microsoft, Mastercard and IBM. An unnamed spokesperson for PayPal says that the company will explore the startup for financial applications involving blockchain.
The funding Cambridge Blockchain has received will go towards research and development as well as increasing the workforce in Beijing, Paris and Boston.
The co-founder of PayPal, Luke Nosek, has made remarks that initially the company wanted to create a digital currency separate from governments and banking institutions. The company has more than 254 million users as of the third quarter 2018. It has launched a reward system for employees which is blockchain based.