Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges with a daily volume of nearly $1.6 billion., is planning to launch a $1 billion venture capital fund designed to incubate blockchain projects.
Ella Zhang, thehead of Binance Labs announced the fund this week at an online meetup, explaining that it will both make direct investments in startups and invest in other blockchain funds.
Binance will make the investments using its BNB token, which currently has a market cap of about $1.6 billion and will serve as the native currency of the firm’s planned public blockchain.
The first project to receive direct funding from the new venture is a new blockchain-based ride-hailing app created by Weixing Chen and Kuaidi Dache, which later merged with $60 billion company Didi Chuxing.
The “fund of funds,” meanwhile, will seek out 20 funds in which to invest. Zhang said that to be eligible funds must already have $100 million in assets under management (AUM).
Binance has lately been embroiled in a high-profile legal spat with prominent VC firm Sequoia Capital, which alleges that the exchange violated an exclusivity agreement by engaging in funding discussions with other VCs. Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO, has responded by suggesting that the firm will require projects to disclose their relationship with Sequoia when they apply to have their tokens listed on the trading platform.
Binance has not yet made an official announcement, and the firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.