BitFury announces seed-investment fund

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In a short press release published over the weekend, bitcoin mining hardware maker BitFury announced the launch of a new venture capital fund to provide cryptocurrency startups with much-needed seed money. Dubbed BitFury Capital, the fund will “accelerate other parts of the [bitcoin] ecosystem through strategic partnerships, and expansion into adjacent business opportunities.” In addition to providing cash to bitcoin-focused companies, BitFury’s fund seems to be taking on some of the role traditionally played by business accelerator programs, offering to “deliver knowledge and resources from the group” and “create synergies” between the fund’s companies.

If that sounds a little like BitFury has plans to use seed investment to build a bitcoin empire, that’s probably because it does. The company’s profile surged in January following a $5 million seed funding round from CoinSeed, creating a “synergy” with, now the single largest mining pool on the bitcoin network, and MegaBigPower, one of the largest bitcoin hashing centers on the planet. Both GHash and MegaBigPower were built on BitFury hardware. BitFury was also on the receiving end of a $20 million financing round in May.

With a new generation of ASIC-based mining hardware hitting the market this summer, BitFury’s seed-investment fund may also be an attempt to spread the company’s holdings outside of the increasingly competitive mining-hardware sector. BitFury currently has a 20% share of the mining market, but that number is likely to dip in coming months as a new range of low-cost, low-energy ASIC miners finally see release after a near-universal series of delays manufacturing delays. It’s also possible that demand for new miners is falling, a trend hinted at by this week’s surprisingly low bitcoin mining difficulty increase.

The new fund will be a subsidiary of the BitFury Group, and will actively participate in investments with external partners.

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