Binance Leads $30 Million Funding Round in Signal Founder’s Crypto MobileCoin

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Cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance has led a $30 million funding round for MobileCoin, a cryptocurrency whose development team includes Signal creator Moxie Marlinspike.

MobileCoin announced the conclusion of the funding round on Tuesday, adding that Binance had made its investment in the project through Binance Labs, its blockchain incubator.

The cryptocurrency, which will utilize the Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP), aims to make privacy a central focus while also creating a seamless user experience that lends itself well to integration with mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Signal — each of which relies on end-to-end encryption technology created by Marlinspike.

“A mobile-first, user-friendly cryptocurrency, like MobileCoin, plays a critical role in driving mainstream cryptocurrency adoption,” Binance Labs said in a statement.

By investing in other industry projects, Binance seems to be charting a similar course to Coinbase, who recently launched its first venture fund. However, Coinbase has said that it will not invest in cryptoassets, as this would present the firm with a conflict of interest and could raise regulatory issues.

Indeed, the mere fact that Binance has said that it will give MobileCoin “priority consideration” for listing — which will undoubtedly improve the fledgling coin’s price outlook — would seemingly enhance regulatory problems if the coin is later deemed to be a security.

Notably, rumors have circulated in industry circles that Marlinspike is less-involved in the project than his role as technical advisor would suggest.

“Take it with a grain of salt, but word on the street is that @moxie is barely involved with the actual development on this thing,” Dogecoin creator Jackson Palmer wrote on Twitter. “The lack of a Github repo / any open source code doesn’t seem like his style.”

To Palmer’s point, MobileCoin does not appear to currently have an open-source code repository, though the rumors about Marlinspike’s involvement — or lack thereof — are currently just that: rumors.

Once MobileCoin releases the project’s open source code, the true level of Marlinspike’s involvement in the project’s development should become more clear.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Josiah is an assistant editor at CCN. A former ancient and medieval literature teacher, he has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2014. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and children. He holds investment positions in bitcoin and other large-cap cryptocurrencies. Follow him on Twitter @Y3llowb1ackbird or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.