Skolem Raises $20m in Series A Funding to Enable Institutions Access DeFi

Skolem Technologies, institutional-grade asset management and execution services provider based in New York, announced on Thursday that it has raised $20 million in Series A funding. 

Galaxy Digital led this round of funding. Other participants include Point72 Ventures, Jump Crypto, Fenwick and West, Morpheus Ventures, and Dragonfly Capital.

Skolem mentioned that it plans to use the new funding to develop its team and scale the platform’s capabilities to enable the growth of the DeFi market by “orders of magnitude.”

JP Smith, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Skolem, admitted that DeFi markets are witnessing constant evolution, thus making it difficult for institutions to trade, record easily, and engage in the market in a secure and reliable manner.

Smith further elaborated on why the firm is committing itself to the DeFi sector: “At Skolem, we are firm believers that DeFi will change our world over the next decade, and we are committed to increasing access to this important market by developing a scalable platform that can safely provide an entry point. This fundraise underscores our partners’ confidence in Skolem’s platform and the much-needed reliability it offers institutions to help them and DeFi markets flourish.”

DeFi Expanding to Institutional Market

Despite the crash of the crypto market at the end of May 2022, partly triggered by the collapse of the Terra ecosystem’s stablecoin and its native crypto LUNA, DeFi services continue to face high demand among users in the long run.

Decentralized finance is part of traditional financial services on the blockchain. Anyone with an Internet connection and a crypto wallet can access DeFi services, such as exchanges, lending protocols, deposits, insurance etc., without relying on trusting another person.

Currently, DeFi has 4.6 billion users worldwide, therefore can potentially solve the problem of financial inclusion.

The World Bank statistics show that more than 1.7 billion people worldwide do not have access to banking services, out of which 1 billion have mobile phones. Through decentralized technologies, these 1 billion people have the opportunity to access lending, deposits and insurance services through the online network.

For the last two years, an increasing number of banks and financial institutions have started purchasing digital assets and building their presence in the world of decentralized applications. They do so because they are aware that their customers are already trading digital assets like Bitcoin and using DeFi services to make more money.

People are the main driver of DeFi adoption. Consumers want to get rid of their debts and make more money, and this creates a demand for investment in cryptos and the usage of DApps. Institutions have realized this and started incorporating DeFi into their financial products because they already have a pool of customers ready and willing to use new services.

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Institutional Investors Are Pouring Capital Into Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana and Two Additional Altcoins: CoinShares

Digital asset manager CoinShares is detailing a shift in the way institutions are allocating capital to Bitcoin and the altcoin markets.

According the firm’s latest report, a tidal wave of inflows triggered by the launch of the first Bitcoin (BTC) futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the US has evened out.


The asset manager says the crypto king saw roughly $268,000,000 in new inflows, compared to $1,450,000,000 the week before.

At the same time, CoinShares reports an increase in inflows to smart contract platforms Ethereum (ETH) and Solana (SOL).

After three consecutive weeks of outflows, Ethereum broke the streak with $16,600,000 in inflows.

Solana is also on the rise, recording more than $14,700,000 in inflows compared to $8,000,000 last week.

Polkadot (DOT) burst onto the scene, recording $6,200,000 in inflows compared to $400,000 the week before. Cardano (ADA) remained steady at $5,000,000 compared to a previous total of $5,300,000.

Source: Bloomberg, CoinShares, data available as of October 29, 2021

As institutions target specific altcoins, they are simultaneously pulling money away from multi-asset investment products, according to CoinShares.

“Multi-asset investment products saw outflows totaling a record US$23m, in what is now a 3-week run of outflows. We believe investors are currently preferring single-line exposure and are becoming more discerning over their altcoin exposure.”

You can check out the full CoinShares report here.

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Okcoin reports altcoins drove institutional interest in crypto for 2021

Cryptocurrency exchange Okcoin has reported the number and trading volume of institutions surged significantly in the last year, driven largely by stablecoins and tokens in decentralized finance.

In a report released on Tuesday, Okcoin said it had seen a 450% increase in the number of institutional customers on its platform between September 2020 and September 2021, as well as a 124% increase in institutional trading volume over the same period. According to the report, 53% of the purchases institutional investors made in September were for altcoins. In addition, the customers showed “a greater appetite for non-Bitcoin crypto assets” compared to previous years.

Specifically, the exchange reported institutions had turned to “younger assets” in 2021, including MiamiCoin (MIA) — the city of Miami’s own token released by CityCoins on Aug. 3 — as well as Avalanche (AVAX), which launched more than a year ago. This contrasts with purchasing behavior in 2020 and earlier, when “institutions exclusively favored altcoins that were at least four years old, such as Ether and Litecoin.”

Related: Cointelegraph Consulting: How Avalanche is reimagining DeFi

“Institutional activity on the platform is indicative of macro sentiment among large-scale investors, with clientele including asset managers, venture capital and hedge funds, retail brokers, payment processors and other entities around the globe,” said Okcoin.

Other firms in the crypto and blockchain space have reached similar conclusions based on data from trading platforms. In September, analytics firm Chainalysis reported that transactions of more than $10 million accounted for over 60% of DeFi transactions in Q2 2021. CoinShares also reported that over a week in September, institutional interest in Solana (SOL) far exceeded that of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

Founded in 2013, Okcoin is one of the world’s oldest crypto exchanges and has steadily expanded to serve customers in more than 185 countries. Though its headquarters are based in the United States, the exchange recently secured regulatory approval to operate in Malta and the Netherlands.