Home / News / Technology / Tether Invests in Neuralink Rival – Competition Grows For Elon Musk Brain Chip Venture
3 min read

Tether Invests in Neuralink Rival – Competition Grows For Elon Musk Brain Chip Venture

Last Updated April 30, 2024 11:41 AM
James Morales
Last Updated April 30, 2024 11:41 AM
By James Morales
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • Tether has acquired a majority stake in Blackrock Neurotech.
  • The investment is the first under the umbrella of the stablecoin firm’s new VC arm, Tether Evo.
  • Blackrock Neurotech operates alongside Elon Musk’s Neuralink in the field of brain-computer interface (BCI) development.

Neuralink is the most well-known, and best-financed, company developing brain-computer interface (BCI) devices, partly because of its association with Elon Musk. But Musk’s brain chip venture is hardly the only player in the game.

Breaking away from its traditional crypto focus, Tether has acquired a $200 million majority stake in Neuralink rival Blackrock Neurotech. In the increasingly competitive BCI sector, Tether’s entry reflects the firm’s emerging prominence as a technology investor.

Tether Evo Sees Stablecoin Issuer Jump Into Venture Capital Funding

With USDC’s market capitalization booming and Tether benefiting from high yields on US Treasuries, the firm reported  $6.2 billion in profits last year.

Tether previously invested excess reserves in gold, Bitcoin and some crypto mining projects. Now, however, it increasingly directs its capital toward innovation and development and has made approximately $1.7 billion of venture investments so far, a Tether spokesperson confirmed.

As a technology investor, the company launched Holepunch in 2023, developing the new peer-to-peer communication platform that draws more inspiration from BitTorrent than Bitcoin.

And now, Tether has fully departed from its traditional emphasis on crypto and decentralized technologies.


Announcing the launch of its new venture capital (VC) arm, Tether stated that “our collaboration and investment in Blackrock Neurotech is just the beginning”. 

The new vehicle, Tether Evo, “aims to elevate the human experience and create new possibilities for individuals and society as a whole.”

Brain Chip Development Race Heats up

With its emphasis on treating neurological disabilities, Blackrock Neurotech is following a path laid out by Neuralink and Synchron, which currently lead BCI research and development. 

The former showcased its first successful transplant in a quadriplegic patient earlier this year. But long-term, owner Elon Musk has made no secret of his transhumanist ambitions for the technology. 

Those sci-fi undertones, which allude to more general-purpose BCIs in the future, could explain why Neuralink continues to dominate headlines even though Synchron is much closer to bringing a working medical device to market.

Blackrock Neurotech: a BCI Pioneer

Although it has been somewhat overshadowed by Neuralink recently, Blackrock Neurotech is one of the most established BCI developers.

The firm’s flagship “Utah Array” device was first implanted in a human in 2004, 12 years before Neuralink was founded. 

However, increased competition has accelerated innovation in the space.

While the Utah Array requires a physical connection that extrudes outside the skull, next-generation BCIs currently being developed are much smaller and can be fitted inside the skull with minimally invasive surgery.

Unlike Neuralink, Blackrock has a range of products already on the market. This could see increased demand as interest in brain chips increases. With Tether’s backing, the company could now double down on research and development, helping push the emergent technology even further.

Was this Article helpful? Yes No