Online payments giant PayPal has made its first ever investment in a blockchain startup, joining the Series A funding round for Cambridge Blockchain.

The digital identity solutions startup has raised a total of $13.5 million in funding over 4 rounds, with the most recent Series A funding having completed on Tuesday.

PayPal’s role in the funding round — which includes “philanthropic investment” firm Omidyar Network and Future Perfect Ventures — was announced in a press release by Cambridge Blockchain. Although the exact contribution by PayPal remains undisclosed, the total amount raised in the funding round totaled $3.5 million.

This marks PayPal’s first real investment in blockchain technology. The firm filed a patent in March 2018 for an ‘Expedited Virtual Currency Transaction System’, but has until now remained mostly outside of the tech.

Cambridge Blockchain’s CEO, Matthew Commons, expressed his elation at the move:

“Our service helps streamline digital identity compliance while giving customers control over their identity data. We are honored by PayPal’s vote of confidence, and we look forward to their support and guidance.”

Streamlining Digital Identity

The startup is responsible for IDBridge, an identity application that leverages blockchain technology as a trust layer. The first production, deployed in Luxembourg, uses a permissioned version of Enterprise Ethereum to manage attestations. While they have not yet deployed any public blockchains as a trust layer, the company remains open to the opportunity should market demand arise.

Cambridge Blockchain recently joined the Digital Identity Foundation (DIF) which includes the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, Hyperledger, IBM and R3 Corda as members. The DIF aims to create an open ecosystem for decentralized identity, promoting interoperability between blockchain platforms.

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