JPMorgan’s Bitcoin Jitters, Goldman Sachs’ Crypto Bet, Uber Cofounder’s Blue-Sky Ambition
Interesting opinion peace by Robert Hacket of Fortune. Take a minute to read.
Good morning, Cyber Sunday readers.
While Friday’s nor’easter soaked the coast in all manner of precipitation, I pondered two other storms a-brewing in the business world: a correction in the cybersecurity market and the undeniable, insuppressible arrival of cryptocurrency.
First, cybersecurity concerns have raised tremendous sums of venture capital in recent years—and now we’re beginning to see a shakeout. Private market money ain’t as free-flowing as it once was. Companies like Ping Identity, McAfee, Barracuda Networks, and now PhishMe (since renamed “Cofense”) have sold wholly or in part to private equity buyers. As funding and prospects for exits thin, expect more companies to have a harder time justifying inflated valuations.
Meanwhile, the crypto-squall bears down in full force—and if you listen close, you can hear the joints of the financial establishment creaking. Following the lead of Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase warned investors for the first time in its annual report that cryptocurrency could pose a risk to its business. (For more on that, see this newsletter’s “access granted” section below.) In the same week, Circle, a Goldman Sachs-backed financial tech startup, shocked the public by buying a cryptocurrency exchange, news first reported by yours truly. And Garrett Camp, cofounder and chairman of Uber, unveiled a proposal for a brand new cryptocurrency, called Eco, that he hopes to transform into a global payment system.
Once the winds die down, we’ll see whose structures are left standing.
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