Reflecting on how far we’ve come and where we’re going - as cited in Fortune, Coindesk, and the Accel Blog.
One of our company values is “radical gradualism.” It reflects the combination of our big ambitions— to build foundational technology for the reinvention of the world’s financial system— with our insistence on debating every important decision along the way. We are thoughtfully and deliberately paving the way for the responsible use of cryptocurrency among governments, financial institutions, cryptocurrency businesses, and consumers. This is no small task. That is why we are excited to announce that to further our mission of building trust in blockchains, we’ve raised a $30M Series B led by Accel, with participation from existing investors.
We have come a long way since we announced our $16M Series A in April 2018. We:
- Continued to grow our data advantage. We now support 85% of the top twenty coins by trading volume.
- Deployed Chainalysis KYT (Know Your Transaction), our real-time anti-money laundering and compliance solution for cryptocurrencies, and now have over 100 financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges signed up to use it.
- Expanded our coverage beyond Bitcoin to include Ether, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and stablecoins to better analyze the funds involved in money laundering schemes, track contributions to ICO scams, and identify other forms of illicit activity in both Chainalysis Reactor, our investigations solution, and Chainalysis KYT (Know Your Transaction), our compliance solution.
- Broadened our support of global investigations with Chainalysis Reactor and have now tracked billions of dollars of stolen funds.
This is just the beginning. Illicit activity will continue to increase in absolute terms as the industry grows and as institutions prepare to transact in cryptocurrency. We will use our new funding to grow our global footprint, double down on our data, invest even more in new cryptocurrencies and multi-currency support, and continue to improve our compliance and investigation software. There is significant work to do in preparation for regulatory clarity and the institutionalization and mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency.
Growing our global footprint
Although we’ve had feet on the ground in London for a while, we are excited to officially open an office there. As our second European office following Copenhagen, London will act as our hub for European business as well as anchoring our research. We will look to double our headcount there, tapping into London’s deep talent pool. The city is optimal for its proximity to top universities that increasingly recognize cryptocurrency as a technology poised to reshape the way people exchange value across the world. The office will position us to work with the major financial institutions and cryptocurrency businesses based in that market, as well as European governments. It’s also convenient that our newest board member, Accel’s Philippe Botteri, is based in London!
Additionally, we expect to continue to grow our business in APAC. In particular, cryptocurrency businesses founded in the region are quickly adopting anti-money laundering (AML) technology like ours in order to compete in the global arena and engage with users in the U.S. and Europe, and we expect this trend to continue. Cryptocurrency is borderless by design, and our technology can be used seamlessly across the world, regardless of local or international regulations.
Doubling down on data
Our core objective is to organize the world’s blockchain data and make it accessible and useful to governments, financial institutions, and cryptocurrency businesses. We are doubling down on our investment in our people and technology that builds our understanding of how and why people use cryptocurrencies. Specifically, we are building a team that is focused on attributing more services associated with criminal activity, including darknet markets, scams, ransomware, terrorist financing, and sanctions evasion.
Our investigations and compliance software are only as good as our underlying historical data. It’s like Netflix building a catalogue: the new shows are great, but they also need the classics for a complete collection. Chainalysis is the only company that has been systematically collecting information that links real world entities to blockchain transactions since 2014.
We analyze new cryptocurrencies far in advance of launching them in our products. This year, we’ll prepare for coins that we expect to launch in 2020. We maintain rigorous standards on our level of data coverage before we make new coins available in our products. This ensures fast investigations and accurate risk scores for our customers.
Investing even more in new cryptocurrencies and multi-currency support
We know it’s critical for our customers that we cover the most widely used cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency businesses need to monitor the breadth of coins and tokens they support, and investigators need to trace across multiple blockchains. That’s why we overhauled our infrastructure and completely rethought how to best support multiple cryptocurrencies in our products. Now we’re prioritizing the cryptocurrencies that have significant market share or are particularly meaningful to our customers. Last month we announced our expansion into stablecoins, with Paxos and TrustToken as our launch partners for Chainalysis KYT for Stablecoins. Stay tuned for additional coins and tokens rolling out over the next several months.
Continually improving our compliance and investigation software to create the fair marketplace for the responsible adoption of cryptocurrencies
We believe cryptocurrencies’ open ledgers can actually set the standard for “regtech” once overarching regulation is in place. By harnessing technology like ours, regulators, compliance departments, consultancies, and Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) can gain unprecedented insight into how and why people move money across the world. In addition to this transparency, blockchain compliance technology can screen transactions in real time. This visibility and velocity means cryptocurrency can, in many circumstances, help identify underlying risks better than in traditional financial markets.
In other words, we’re ready to help governments, financial institutions, and cryptocurrency businesses enforce and comply with regulations across jurisdictions. That said, we are always improving Chainalysis Reactor and Chainalysis KYT to help our customers navigate a world in which cryptocurrency is more clearly regulated and therefore more mainstream. We’re focused on making our powerful software easier to use and releasing advanced features for even more insight and control.
Blockchains’ potential to bring positive change is broad, ranging from streamlining remittances to serving the underbanked in the U.S. and abroad. But there is a long road ahead before cryptocurrency fulfills this potential. Building trust— among governments, financial institutions, cryptocurrency businesses, and consumers— is the most vital step in cryptocurrency’s transformation into an invaluable technology that protects our safety and enables greater prosperity. We believe this radical transformation is best done gradually, and we’re looking forward to this exciting next phase of our company’s— and our industry’s— growth.