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The wave of Bitcoin ordinals may have subsided, but there is a strong undercurrent of investment in Bitcoin-only companies. River, the American Bitcoin (BTC) technology and financial services company, was the latest to make a splash.
River announced a $35 million Series B funding round despite the bear market. Kingsway Capital led the round with notable contributions including Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel, Cygni, Goldcrest and Valor Equity Partners.
According to Alex Leishman, CEO of River, the new wave of interest in bitcoin is “largely driven by adoption in business and institutions.” He added:
“This is not fueled by hype. The bank failures and bailouts this year have come as a wake-up call, exposing the cracks in the traditional financial system and reminding us why Bitcoin is so important – it is a safe path to a stronger and more transparent global economy.”
The San Francisco-based company operates one of the largest Bitcoin Lightning nodes, providing payments and liquidity management for the Bitcoin Lightning network.
The River Lightning API makes it easy for businesses to integrate with the Lightning Network. The service has already taken responsibility for one of the key players in the Bitcoin payments space; Chivo Wallet in El Salvador uses River for near-instant and near-free Bitcoin payments.
River was one of the first to implement the Lightning Network, similar to global cryptocurrency exchanges including Bitfinex and Kraken.
What’s more, the world’s largest exchanges, Coinbase and Binance, may soon adopt Lightning as the world slowly adapts to a low-fee, high-bandwidth payments network. At the Advancing Bitcoin conference in London, River CEO Leishm told Cointelegraph:
“I still think we are very early. Yes, a lot of interesting things are happening. We’re building this really amazing foundation in terms of protocol.”
He said it was important to see more people “working backwards from real human problems as well. We need more of this.” In light of the rise in mainchain transaction fees due to the meme mania, more and more exchanges and crypto companies may turn to the Lightning Network as a solution.
Related: State of the Bitcoin Lightning Network in 2023
River joins a growing list of bitcoin companies raising rates during a bear market. Storage services provider Unchained Capital recently raised $60 million, and El Salvador’s education program received a flood of investment from Bitcoin advocates around the world.