The round was led by financier Terren Piezer – known as the “Zelig of Wall Street” – via his personal holding company, Acuitas Group Holdings. Arrington XRP Capital, Consensus Capital, Axiom Holdings Group, Digital Strategies, MW Partners, Blockchange Ventures, Hashkey Capital, and Distributed Global also participated.
CasperLabs, a startup building an open-source blockchain platform aimed to achieve scale without sacrificing decentralization, has raised $14.5 million in a Series A funding round.
CasperLabs said in an announcement on Tuesday that the new funds will be used to speed up product development and bring more engineers on board.
The startup launched in February with Ethereum Foundation researcher Vlad Zamfir serving as lead consensus protocol architect. The project aims to build a new blockchain based on a version of proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus protocol – specifically Zamfir’s Correct-by-Construction (CBC) Casper PoS.
The firm said it is working to solve the “‘trilemma’ of scale, decentralization, and security, but is also developer-friendly to build and operate apps.”
CasperLabs anticipates issuing several “interesting” technical updates in the coming months, according to Mrinal Manohar co-founder and CEO of CasperLabs’ parent firm ADAPtive Holdings.
“I’ve been following and studying the crypto and blockchain space since its earliest days, and I’ve been waiting for a company that can build the strength and decentralized aspects of a public chain with the speed, security, and scalability of a next-gen platform”, said lead investor Piezer, adding:
“Scalability of a product and company is the leading driver of value creation. Consistently, the most proficiently scalable company becomes the industry leader.”
Amended Lawsuit Against Ripple Now Offers Theory That XRP May Not Be a Security
The two-year class-action – which claims Ripple, a blockchain payments infrastructure firm, violated securities rules with its sales and marketing of the XRP cryptocurrency – has been refiled with additional claims to back up the case that Ripple and its CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, had undertaken unfair or fraudulent business practices.
The suit, with former XRP investor Bradley Sostack as lead plaintiff, was brought on behalf of all investors who purchased XRP tokens issued and sold by Ripple. It alleges a scheme to raise hundreds of millions of dollars through sales of an unregistered security, XRP, to retail investors.
According to a court document filed on March 25 (see below), a sixth claim for relief asserts false advertising in violation of California business law. Notably, this amendment appears to see the plaintiffs hedging their original case, stating this claim is made “under the alternative theory that XRP is not a security.”
An additional seventh claim further accuses the firm of unfair competition in violation of California law, also under the theory that XRP is not a security.
The amendments seem aimed to inject the “alternative theory” into the suit in case the judge rules that Ripple did not issue and sell an unregistered security.
The other notable changes to the suit take aim at Ripple and Garlinghouse, citing their statements about XRP being a utility token essential for international payments and that sales are primarily to market makers.
“However, as discussed above, more than 60 percent of XRP is owned by Ripple and none of that XRP is used for anything at all, other than to be sold in the future to invest,” the plaintiffs claim.
It also hits out at Garlinghouse’s claims that he was “very, very, very long XRP” and was ‘on the HODL side’ –holding XRP for long term gains. “
That, the filing states, “was false when made as throughout 2017 Garlinghouse sold millions of XRP on various cryptocurrency exchanges. Review of the XRP ledger indicates that Garlinghouse sold at least 67 million XRP in 2017 and that he sold any XRP he received from Ripple within days of such receipt.”
Plaintiffs had the option to refile amended claims under California law within 28 days of the previous ruling. U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in the Northern District of California ordered in February that the suit could proceed to trial. The action could include claims filed under federal law but Judge Hamilton dismissed some claims filed under California state law, prompting the refiling.
The order followed a hearing held in mid-January between the plaintiff, Bradley Sostack and the defendant, Ripple, its XRP II subsidiary and CEO, Garlinghouse.