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Financial services companies like Visa and PayPal have made clear bets in the sector, and even Facebook has plans for its own digital wallet and currency—now called Diem.

While crypto—like many sectors currently awash in venture capital money—may eventually see a slowdown, the investment and general economic interest in the space shows it is now an accepted financial tool, added Tusk.

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According to Crunchbase data, 18 unicorns—companies with a valuation of $1 billion or more—have been newly minted this calendar year. That’s about two-thirds of the total amount of unicorns in the crypto space in total.

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“There definitely is rising interest in ‘pick-and-shovel’ companies in the space,” said Austin Woodward , co-founder and CEO of Utah-based TaxBit , which provides tax and accounting software to help with tax calculations and reporting on cryptocurrency transactions.

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<p>As venture capital firms co...

As venture capital firms continue to flood the crypto and digital asset space with more money, a stampede of unicorns is emerging unlike anything the space has ever witnessed.

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  • France-based security and infrastructure solutions provider Ledger raised a $380 million Series C at a $1.5 billion valuation in June.
  • New York-based Fireblocks , which helps with a variety of business issues around digital assets from security to compliance to governance, raised a $310 million Series D at a $2.2 billion valuation in July.
  • New York-based Paxos, which builds infrastructure to enable movement between physical and digital assets, raised a $300 million Series D at a $2.4 billion valuation in April.

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TaxBit recently became a unicorn in the crypto space when it closed a $130 million Series B earlier this month. The company has raised $230 million this year alone.

TaxBit’s Series B serves as a good example of another trend the crypto industry is seeing: Big growth and institutional investors exploring the digital asset space and dedicating whole teams to look for investment opportunities.

Large firms such as Tiger Global , Insight Partners ,Coatue ,Sequoia Capital and others all have made significant investments in the space, pouring more money into funding rounds and helping raise valuations.

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Why now?

There is no hot trend, rather, it is the maturation of the industry and everything that goes along with that evolution that is making companies like Bitpanda , Ledger and BlockFi hit the magical unicorn mark.

One of the main aspects of that maturation is the buildup of the ecosystem around crypto, which is now starting to create its own $1 billion-plus companies. While exchanges like Coinbase and San Francisco-based Kraken may come to mind first when thinking about buying and selling crypto, multiple layers are being built out in the industry to help people manage, report and secure assets.

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building @tellimer. #engineering, #machinelearning and #crypto

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