Funding Wrap: 2024 kicks off with Solscan deal, Saylor sales

Plus, Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest celebrated the new year with more COIN sales

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Adobe Stock and Solscan modified by Blockworks

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One of the crypto space’s best-known data providers expanded its scope this week with an acquisition in the Solana space. This marks one of the first notable deals of what could be a momentous year for the industry.

Etherscan’s acquisition of Solscan was characterized as a “collaborative merging” in a Jan. 3 announcement. It sounds like a bit of an acqui-hire — that is, an acquisition of both team and technology — and an early data play for 2024.

“The Solscan team has proven their expertise over the years by offering detailed insights and analytics,” Matthew Tan, CEO of Etherscan, said in a statement. “Their expertise in making blockchain data accessible and user-friendly also aligns perfectly with our mission at Etherscan.”

As Blockworks’ Macauley Peterson noted in his coverage, the deal also represents a notable example of industry consolidation. Etherscan, he wrote, “is considered the flagship block explorer for Ethereum, widely recognized and extensively used by the community due to its comprehensive feature set.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed in the announcement. 

Read more: Etherscan will no longer run Ava Labs’ block explorer

Saylor set to dump MSTR shares

Meanwhile, one of bitcoin’s best-known bulls is preparing to undertake a major share sale. 

And before you ask, yes — some of those proceeds will then be directed to buy more bitcoin.

MicroStrategy founder Michael Saylor intends to sell 315,000 shares, a figure worth about $216 million at the time of the announcement. 

In a statement, Saylor said that “[f]or almost a decade now at my request, the company has only paid me a $1 salary and I’ve chosen not to be eligible for any cash bonuses.”

The sales will enable Saylor to “address some financial obligations as well as to acquire additional bitcoin for my personal account,” he continued.

Saylor and his publicly traded firm have garnered significant attention and notoriety for an ultra-long bitcoin investment strategy. As of the end of 2023, MicroStrategy and its entities hold nearly 190,000 BTC — worth more than $8 billion at current prices.

As Blockworks’ David Canellis noted this week, however, MicroStrategy isn’t the biggest bitcoin holder out there. 

That honor is reserved by none other than the US government, which, through the course of criminal asset seizures, has assembled a bitcoin hoard of around 197,000 BTC.

Read more: Happy New Year: US government now holds more than $8B in bitcoin

Other notable fundraises

  • Binance Labs, the exchange’s venture arm, has invested in the token of a meme-centric crypto startup, Memeland.
  • Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest has sold roughly $30 million in Coinbase shares this week in sales that took place Wednesday and Friday, according to CoinDesk.

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