The cryptocurrency industry has faced significant challenges in the first half of 2022, with the prices of major assets such as bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) posting more than 50% declines in value. The situation was further exacerbated by the collapse of the Earth ecosystem in Q2, which had a knock-on effect on the industry. As a result, major industry players such as Three Arrows Capital, Celsius Network and Voyager Digital filed for bankruptcy during the year.
The bear market has caused venture capitalists (VCs) to become more cautious in their investments in the cryptocurrency sector. According to data from DeFiLlama, VC funding in the industry has declined steadily, going from $8.7 billion in the first quarter to $6 billion in the second quarter, then to $3.5 billion in the third quarter. With less than 24 hours left in 2022, VCs invested around $2 billion in crypto projects in Q4.
Despite the decline in VC investment, some cryptocurrency projects received massive funding in 2022. Here are the 10 biggest cryptocurrency fundraisers, according to DeFiLlama.
Guard of the Luna Foundation: $1 billion
The Luna Foundation Guard (LFG), a non-profit organization behind the collapse of the Earth ecosystem, was awarded the single largest amount this year. In February, the entity raised $1 billion in a private token sale to safeguard the TerraUSD (UST) peg. However, the LFG’s efforts backfired, with UST losing its $1 parity and crashing to zero a few months later.
Cross River: $620 million
On March 30, Cross River announced it had raised $620 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Eldridge and other investors. At the time, the firm said the capital would go towards payments and crypto solutions.
Cross River is a New Jersey-based financial services company that offers customers a broad range of services, including embedded payments, cards, loans, and cryptographic solutions. The company provides lending and payment services for many of the largest cryptocurrency companies, including Coinbase.
Fire Blockages: $550 million
In January, digital asset infrastructure provider Fireblocks raised $550 million at an $8 billion valuation from institutional investors, including D1 Capital Partners and Spark Capital.
The firm has grown from serving approximately 800 financial institutions since fundraising to working with over 1,300 today. It also secured the transfer of more than $3 trillion in digital assets at the time of writing from $2 trillion in January.
Polygon: $450 million
Ethereum scaling solution Polygon raised around $450 million through a private sale of its native MATIC token in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital India in February.
The funding was Polygon’s first major funding round since its inception in 2017.
ConsenSys: $450 million
Ethereum software developer ConsenSys announced the closing of a $450 million funding round at a $7 billion valuation in March, doubling its valuation from November 2021.
The round was led by ParaFi Capital, with participation from Temasek, SoftBank and Microsoft.
Yuga Labs: $450 million
Yuga Labs, the originator of the Bored Ape Yacht Club non-fungible token (NFT) fundraising, raised $450 million in seed funding in March, led by Andreessen Horowitz. The fundraising came a week after Yuga launched ApeCoin (APE), a governance token used within the APE ecosystem.
According to reports, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently investigating the distribution of APEs to holders of Bored Ape Yacht Clubs and related NFTs.
Secret Network: $400 million
In January, privacy-focused blockchain Secret Network raised $400 million, split into two halves. The first was a $225 million ecosystem fund to support developers building on the network.
The second was a $175 million accelerator pool filled with the platform’s SCRT token to provide grants, capital, and incentives to expand user adoption. Stakeholders awarded SCRTs include the now-bankrupt Alameda Research, KuCoin Labs, Huobi Ventures, and others.
FTX United States: $400 million
FTX US, the US unit of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, raised $400 million at an $8 billion valuation in January.
Investors in the fundraiser included Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Softbank Vision Fund 2, Temasek Holdings, Multicoin Capital and Paradigm. Sadly, these entities lost their investment in the cryptocurrency exchange following its recent bankruptcy filing.
FTX: $400 million
Shortly after FTX US raised $400 million, its parent company secured the same amount from nearly the same investors, but at a higher $32 billion valuation.
FTX filed for bankruptcy in November after facing a liquidity crisis related to its token. After filing for bankruptcy, some all-round investors canceled their investments in the exchange.
Close Protocol: $350 million
Last on the list of top 10 cryptocurrency fundraisers of 2022 is blockchain developer Near Protocol. The platform announced it raised $350 million in a funding round led by hedge fund Tiger Global in April.
At the time, Near said the funding would be used to accelerate the decentralization of its ecosystem. Since fundraising, the project has grown from 450 projects built on it to 700 today.
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