Most crypto investors probably never heard of Wintermute Trading before the Sept. 20 $160 million hack, but that does not reduce their significance within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The London-based algorithmic trading and crypto lending firm also provides liquidity to some of the largest exchanges and blockchain projects. As a crypto-native trading firm, meaning digital assets have been its core since its inception in July 2017, Wintermute’s expertise in the sector is attested by $25 million in funding from global venture capital investors like Fidelity Investments, Pantera Capital and Blockchain.com Ventures. An important distinction sets a market maker apart from bankrupt crypto venture capital firms like 3 Arrows Capital or insolvent lending and yield platforms like Voyager Digital and Celsius Network. Wintermute’s $160 million hack could have a much more profound impact on the crypto industry, considering how essential liquidity is. The very nature of these businesses is vastly different. For example, a venture capitalist typically invests in pre-seed or seed capital by funding the projects ahead of their launch. There is a need for early-stage funding for tokens, nonfungible token (NFT) projects, decentralized applications (DApps) and infrastructure, but the money will eventually come up when a good team, idea and community are assembled.
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