Blockchain firm ConsenSys raises $65 million from J.P. Morgan, others

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(Reuters) - Blockchain technology firm ConsenSys said on Tuesday it had raised $65 million from major banks and financial services firms including J.P. Morgan, Mastercard Inc and UBS Group AG to fund its growth and global expansion.

Blockchain emerged over a decade ago as the technology powering cryptocurrency transactions. Since then, banks and other large corporations have been investing millions of dollars to develop and test a range of business applications using blockchain.

The latest funding comes at a time finance firms including BNY Mellon, BlackRock Inc and Mastercard Inc are taking steps to make greater use of cryptocurrencies for investment and payment purposes.

ConsenSys acquired JPMorgan's marquee blockchain unit, Quorum, in August last year. As part of the deal, the bank also made a strategic investment in ConsenSys.

Brooklyn-based ConsenSys is a prominent blockchain startup that grew rapidly during the 2017 crypto bubble. It was founded by Joe Lubin, one of the co-founders of ethereum, the world's most popular cryptocurrency after bitcoin.

ConsenSys underwent a restructuring last year to separate its core software business from its investment activities arm.

The company's clients include Microsoft Corp, Amazon Web Services, Ernst and Young and Procter & Gamble Co, its website showed.

ConsenSys' protocols group is also building Central Bank Digital Currencies for six central banks, the company said.

Other investors who participated in the funding round include blockchain companies Protocol Labs, the Maker Foundation, Fenbushi and The LAO.

(Reporting by Anna Irrera in London and Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)