Crypto Wallet That Lured $35 Billion in a Year Wins IDG Backing

It pays to be early, especially when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

Take ImToken Pte., a Chinese startup that developed one of the first cryptocurrency wallet apps to support the Ethereum blockchain. The free software has attracted 4 million users, who’ve used it to stash $35 billion of crypto assets over the past year, more than at big-name competitors including Coinbase Inc.

The previously unreported figures help explain why venture firm IDG Capital is betting $10 million on the business. The Series A funding round, announced by ImToken on Thursday, is the latest indication that some investors are looking past this year’s tumble in virtual currencies to back startups seen as vital to the crypto ecosystem.

“We noticed very early the potential of Ethereum and focused on it to differentiate against competitors,” Ben He, the 35-year-old founder of ImToken and its parent company ConsenLabs Inc., said in an interview. “The growth has been completely organic. We didn’t have any marketing or promotional budget.”

Early Ethereum Bet Nets $35 Billion

Wallet app imToken tops rivals in attracting cryptocurrency deposits

Source: ConsenLabs, Coinbase Inc., Bloomberg, BRD

He’s decision to support Ethereum came in 2016, a year before its blockchain became the main tool for crypto startups raising money through initial coin offerings. Since then, the number of the so-called ERC-20 tokens tracked by has surged to more than 500. Supporting all of them has made ImToken the world’s largest Ethereum wallet provider, according to He, a self-taught programmer who learned about the tech industry via podcasts including Diggnation and 5by5.

Read more: All About Bitcoin, Blockchain and Their Crypto World

The $35 billion stored in the app over the past year compares with “more than $20 billion” in customer assets held by Coinbase, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. crypto platform. ImToken users accounted for about 10 percent of the average daily activity on the Ethereum blockchain since the start of the year and about 21 percent in May, according to data provided by ImToken and analyzed by Bloomberg.

While it’s not a purely apples-to-apples comparison, ImToken’s deposit growth over the past year rivals even that of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., according to figures from the Federal Deposit Insurance Co.

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