High Tech Private Equity Fund SICAV plc, which is managed by Accuro Fund Solutions, has acquired London and Vancouver, Canada-based nChain, a provider of blockchain technologies. No financial terms were disclosed. Nuovo Capital served as financial adviser to nChain on the deal. In conjunction with the transaction, Arthur Davis has been named as a director of nChain Holdings Limited.
LONDON, April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Blockchain pioneer nChain and a group of affiliated companies have been acquired by High Tech Private Equity Fund SICAV plc, an EU regulated investment fund managed by Accuro Fund Solutions.
nChain is the global leader in research and development of blockchain technologies – a distributed, decentralised ledger that chronologically records transactions in an immutable way. The nChain group of companies has grown to a team of in excess of 60 world-class scientific research, engineering and other professionals primarily based in London, United Kingdom and Vancouver, Canada. The acquisition will assist nChain to continue the growth of its research activities and advance its mission to accelerate blockchain adoption globally.
Concurrent with the acquisition and at the request of the fund manager, Arthur Davis has been appointed as a Director of nChain Holdings Limited. Mr. Davis stated:
“While learning about the suite of nChain’s capabilities through the transaction, it became clear to me that we are in a new era of the digital age following the creation of the personal computer and the internet. This changes everything leading us into what we at nChain call the Internet of Transactions.
Although undisclosed, we believe the transaction value to be the largest worldwide to date in the development of this industry.
nChain has designed and architected a blockchain infrastructure to transform people’s lives and the way in which businesses operate. We believe this innovative technology will be disruptive on a scale that most people have yet to fully appreciate. nChain sees the full extent of this disruption being achieved by maximising transactional velocity on the Bitcoin blockchain.”
nChain’s research to date demonstrates the achievability of that vision through:
In adherence to the original vision, removing the Bitcoin blockchain’s artificial block size limit (temporarily set at 1MB) to fuel increased scalability and usage;
Enabling on-chain scaling without degrading the benefits of decentralisation;
Advanced native scripting for the construction of smart contracts; and
Open source protocols.
In support of its mission, nChain is researching and developing tools, protocols and applications to support blockchain growth worldwide. This includes a software development kit to enable programmers to develop applications on the Bitcoin blockchain, solutions for scalability of the Bitcoin blockchain, inventions to improve security, on-chain scripting for smart contracts and a decentralised trading platform that uses autonomous agents.
nChain also advocates for the formation of a neutral standards organisation to coordinate and manage the Bitcoin protocol and technical standards. This will result in a more robust software design. To ensure the long-term advancement of the Bitcoin blockchain it is essential to harmonise a miner’s principal objective of profitability and the importance of the principles of innovation and governance led by the software development community.
nChain’s technologies are the subject of a large and growing portfolio of patent applications. Cerian Jones, a partner at Urquhart-Dykes & Lord LLP and nChain’s lead patent attorney, explains:
“The patent program at nChain involves some of the most complex technologies we have ever seen, and stands at the forefront of blockchain innovation worldwide. We are privileged to work with nChain’s leading research team to help protect its growing invention portfolio.”
In 2017, nChain intends to make some of its intellectual property assets available to the blockchain community through open source software and royalty-free licensing. To register interest please send an email to community@nChain.com.
Michel Van Zanten, who led the transaction from the investor’s point of view comments:
“This acquisition is directly aligned with our investment objective of identifying and supporting world-leading disruptive technology innovators. We were attracted to nChain’s core infrastructure capabilities and technical understanding of how a globally scalable enterprise-class architecture can be built to transform the way in which the world operates. We look forward to supporting the team as they lead blockchain innovation worldwide and make this vision a reality.”
Nuovo Capital acted as nChain’s financial advisor for the transaction. Global law firm Baker McKenzie advised nChain on tax, IP and corporate aspects of the transaction, and has advised nChain on other corporate matters. nChain’s patent counsel is Urquhart-Dykes & Lord LLP, one of the UK’s leading intellectual property law firms.
ABOUT NCHAIN: nChain is the world leader in blockchain centric research and development. The nChain Group includes nChain Holdings Limited and nChain Limited. nChain Holdings Limited was formerly known as EITC Holdings Limited, and has been re-branded concurrently with this acquisition. For information about nChain and for future announcements, please visit www.nChain.com.
ABOUT HIGH TECH PRIVATE EQUITY FUND SICAV PLC: The Fund is a Notified Alternative Investment Fund regulated under Maltese Law and managed by EEA based Accuro Fund Solutions. For more information please visit www.pi-hightech-fund.com.