When we first announced the formation of Digital Currency Group in October 2015, we were joined by a terrific group of investors who were eager to explore the nascent bitcoin and blockchain technology ecosystem. At Digital Currency Group, we build and support bitcoin and blockchain companies through our network, insights and access to capital. Over the past year, our portfolio has grown to encompass 70 companies spanning 22 countries and we now operate three wholly-owned subsidiaries including CoinDesk, a media and events platform we acquired in January 2016.
We are proud to announce that over the past six months both our firm and team have continued to grow. We have been joined by a group of new investors including Western Union, Beijing-based HCM International Company, and a number of family offices, investment managers, and funds including Gibraltar Ventures, OMERS Ventures, Horizon Kinetics, Kingsbridge Wealth Management, and Wood Investment Partners.
Our investors now span various segments of the financial industry, from banks to insurance companies to global money transfer and payments companies who see the potential of digital currencies and their many applications. It also includes manufacturing companies and media companies looking to leverage digital currencies and distributed ledgers to create new efficiencies in their business and build new products and services that make the movement of assets and money around the world instant, frictionless, and truly borderless.
Our team believes that neither a standalone venture capital or standalone private equity model is perfectly suited to support – and help drive forward – new industries like ours. This is why we set out to create a company, not a fund, that could have the flexibility and permanent capital base needed to invest in technology and build service businesses to enable institutions, corporations and investors to access digital currency and distributed ledger technologies in new ways.
Over the past six months, we have worked with our investors and other corporate partners to create new models for partnership that create value and opportunity for our portfolio companies, our investors, and the broader corporate ecosystem. Our aim is to help companies learn together and build partnerships that leverage the unique strengths and insights of each stakeholder. We continue to believe that collaboration and partnership between startups, incumbents and the industry will be a winning recipe in helping this new technology achieve its true potential and accelerating the development of a better financial system.
Expanding the DCG Team
We realize that our vision is broad and ambitious; to that effect, we are honored to be guided by the experience and wisdom of new members of our board and advisory team who will help us realize the vision for Digital Currency Group.
Glenn Hutchins has joined the DCG Board of Directors and provides valuable insights to our executive team. Glenn is the Chairman of North Island and a Co-Founder of Silver Lake, which he started in 1999. He is a director of both AT&T and Nasdaq, Inc.; a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; vice chairman of both the Brookings Institution and the Economic Club of New York; and a member of the Executive Committee of the New York Presbyterian Hospital. He is also an owner and member of the Executive Committee of the National Basketball Association’s Boston Celtics.
Mr. Hutchins remarked “Digital Currency Group (DCG) has positioned itself as a key participant in the Bitcoin universe, a space which has the promise to be one of the most innovative sectors of today’s technology ecosystem. Bitcoin technology has the potential, among many other impacts, to transform the global payments system and DCG aims to be a central force in the transformation.”
In addition, long-time advisor Lawrence Lenihan will join Mr. Hutchins and DCG Founder and CEO Barry Silbert on our board. Lawrence is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Resonance, a venture operating company that partners with talented creators to transform the fashion industry by uniquely combining venture investing experience, fashion industry insight and expertise, manufacturing knowledge and capability and technology vision. Prior to Resonance, Lawrence founded FirstMark Capital in New York City which has backed some of the most successful commerce companies in the market today including Tommy John, Pinterest and Shopify. Lawrence is an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Stern School where he teaches Next Generation Retail.
Says Lenihan “Barry is a financial services industry visionary. He created the secondary market for private companies and then became one of the earliest public backers of blockchain technology. It will be an honor to assist and advise in this next leg of the development of DCG.”
We are also excited to have Dr. Lawrence H. Summers and Gavin Andresen joining the DCG team as Senior Advisors. Dr. Summers brings a wealth of perspective to the table, having served as the 71st Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton and the Director of the National Economic Council for President Obama. Dr. Summers is currently the Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University.
Dr. Summers commented, “Digital currencies, blockchain and ‘the internet of value’ will create new platforms for financial inclusion, and Barry and his team at DCG are building an important platform with great potential to help these technologies reach mass adoption.”
Gavin Andresen is one of the developers of the bitcoin protocol, and was the lead developer for several years after the anonymous creator of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, stepped back. He is currently with the MIT Digital Currency Initiative.
The addition of these advisors underscores the importance of the various stakeholders DCG feels will be critical to helping digital currencies and their applications reach a broad group of users and achieve mainstream adoption. All of our advisors will be speaking at Consensus 2016, a conference hosted by our subsidiary CoinDesk and sponsored by DCG, on May 2 – 4 in New York City.
We are honored to have the support of so many fantastic investors and advisors and the trust of our portfolio companies and subsidiaries who are looking to us for not just capital, but an opportunity to leverage our insights and engage with our broad network. The DCG family continues to grow, and we are excited to continue supporting and building meaningful businesses in the digital currency and distributed ledger space.
– Barry Siert, Founder & CEO