75 Blockchain Firms Got $30M+ PPP Bailout Loans

Written by Dana Sanchez

Jul 07, 2020

blockchain PPP
75 Blockchain firms got $30M+ in PPP bailout loans including Storj Labs, Shawn Wilkinson’s open-source cloud storage platform. Image: MMG

More than 75 blockchain- and cryptocurrency-related companies got at least $30 million in bailout loans from the government as part of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

Recipients included Black-owned Storj Labs, Shawn Wilkinson’s open-source cloud storage platform. Storj received $350,000 to $1 million. ConsenSys, the Brooklyn-based ethereum (ETH) development studio, received $5 million-to-$10 million. Crypto exchange bitFlyer USA, the U.S. affiliate of the Japan-based bitFlyer, received between $150,000 and $350,000. Others who got loans include Polychain, Tron and CipherTrace.

The U.S. government has given out two rounds of PPP loans totaling $659 billion for coronavirus relief through the Small Business Administration. The loans are fully forgivable if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. At least 60 percent of the forgiven amount must be used for payroll.

The SBA published details Monday of more than 660,000 PPP loan recipients. Coindesk complied a list of around 70 of them that are blockchain- and crypto-related, including crypto venture firms that got PPP loans.

The SBA PPP loan details include a dollar-value range for each loan, names of the loan or fund recipients, physical addresses, lender names, and the dates the loans were issued.

“The loans to blockchain startups are likely to be controversial among cryptocurrency users given the industry’s roots in the liberterian-leaning cypherpunk movement, which distrusted governments and banks,” Nikhilesh De wrote for Coindesk. “However, not taking an available subsidy arguably might have put any one company at a disadvantage to competitors that did, regardless of what the recipient believes about the policy’s merits, as one industry insider pointed out.”

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Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of bitcoin, launched the first decentralized digital currency during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. He presented it as an alternative to the existing financial system. He famously embedded a news headline about bank bailouts into bitcoin’s genesis block, De reminded readers.

“It’s difficult to know exactly why Satoshi did so, but he was likely worried about the continued wasting of people’s money on saving failed corporations that under normal market conditions would have been left to go bankrupt,” Lubomir Tassev wrote for Bitcoin.com.

Bailouts are a little different in the coronavirus crisis.

Here’s a partial list of blockchain-related firms that received money through the PPP, as published by CrowdFundInsider:

  • MyCrypto, Inc.: $150K- $350K
  • MyEtherWallet: $150K – $350K
  • Abra: $350K and $1 million
  • SeedCX: $350K to $1 million
  • Blockfolio: $350K and $1 million
  • Digital Assets Data: $350K to $1 million
  • CipherTrace: $350K to $1 million
  • BTC Media (Bitcoin Magazine’s parent firm): $350K to $1 million
  • Electric Coin Company: $350K and $1 million
  • Storj: $350K and $1 million
  • Nebulous, Inc: $150K and $350K
  • Rainberry Inc, (previously called BitTorrent / acquired by Tron): $2 million to $5 million
  • Civic: $350K to $1 million
  • Skuchain: $150K to $350K
  • Sovrin Foundation: $350K to $1 million
  • IOHK USA: $350K to $1 million
  • Token Tax: $150K to $350K
  • Algorand Foundation: $150K to $350K
  • Radar Relay: $350K to $1 million
  • Quantstamp: $150K to $350K
  • Cambridge Blockchain: $150K to $350K
  • Prime Trust: $350K to $1 million
  • Celsius Network: $150K to $350K
  • SALT Blockchain: $1 million to $2 million
  • Dharma Labs: $150K to $350K
  • Polychain Capital: $350K to $1 million
  • Griid Infrastructure: $150K to $350K (from Signature Bank in April 2020)
  • Crypto mining colocation firm Compute North: $350K and $1 million (from Highland Bank in April 2020)
  • Messari: $150K and $350K (from Silicon Valley Bank in April 2020)
  • Crypto media outlet The Block: $150K and $350K (from Silicon Valley Bank in April 2020

For a more complete list, go to Coindesk.

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