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

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


Adobe Stock and Solscan modified by Blockworks


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.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Permissionless is a conference for founders, application developers, and users. Come meet the next generation of people building and using crypto.

recent research

Research Report Templates (1).png


Solana Mobile is a highly ambitious foray into the mobile consumer hardware market, seeking to open up a crypto-native distribution channel for mobile-first applications. The market for Solana Mobile devices has demonstrated a phenomenon whereby external market actors (e.g. Solana-native projects) continuously underwrite subsidies to Mobile consumers. The value of these subsidies, coming in the form of airdrops, trial programs, and exclusive NFT mints, have consistently covered the cost of the phone and generated positive returns for consumers. Given this trend in subsidies, the unit economics in the market for Mobile devices, and the initial growth rate and trajectory of sales, it should be expected that Solana mobile can clear 1M to 10M units over the coming years. As more devices circulate amongst users, Solana Mobile presents a promising venue for the emergence of killer-applications uniquely enabled by this mobile-first, crypto-native distribution channel.


Plus, a look into Lighting Labs’ newest feature


Crypto’s Wild West era is over — it’s time to embrace regulation to secure the future of digital assets


Plus, Solana has now surpassed Ethereum in trailing 30-day decentralized exchange volume


Polymarket betters say Kamala Harris has better odds than Biden of winning against Trump


Bitcoin’s down Tuesday, while ETH-correlated assets like ENS and ARB see growth