Barry Silbert last week sold SecondMarket, his popular trading exchange for private company stock, to Nasdaq
for an undisclosed amount. Now he’s lined up a group of big-name backers to support the launch of a new conglomerate devoted entirely to bitcoin and other blockchain technologies.
It’s called Digital Currency Group, and will include a pair of businesses that were originally formed at SecondMarket, but were not part of the sale to Nasdaq. They include Genesis Global Trading, an over-the-counter bitcoin trading firm; and Grayscale Investments, a digital currency asset management firm that manages the Bitcoin Investment Trust, a publicly-listed vehicle that raised over $60 million.
It also will house a portfolio of 57 seed-stage investments that Silbert and his team have already made, including Chain, Circle, Coinbase, Ripple and Xapo. They also have backed several companies looking to exploit bitcoin’s blockchain technology for uses outside of finance, including Ascribe (managing digital IP) and ShoCard (digital identification). Using CoinDesk data and other public sources, Silbert estimates that the companies he’s made early investments in have gone on to raise nearly 70% of all