More Traditional FIs Take The Bitcoin Plunge

Digital Currency Group, a financial startup focused on, yes, digital currency, has attracted attention and investments from a consortium of investors from the traditional corners of finance.

Among those marquee names are New York Life, MasterCard and Bain Capital, reported Forbes, which larded Digital Currency’s coffers with an undisclosed sum. They now join finance firms such as Visa and Goldman Sachs in a growing list of investors making the jump to taking stakes in digital currency firms across bitcoin and blockchain.

Digital Currency will launch a conference centered on bitcoin beginning next May.

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Barry Silbert, who founded the company, told Forbes that he chose a corporate structure rather than a fund because “if we had gone down the path of creating a fund or a few funds, we would have had different stakeholders in different funds, and we wouldn’t be able to make decisions around capital and business allocations without potentially having conflict issues. Lastly, by being a company, we can take the company public.”

There are a number of other investors in Digital Currency Group, among them CME Ventures, FirstMark Capital, Solon Mack Capital and others, and their stakes in Digital Currency Group are their first investments within bitcoin.

Among several subsidiaries ramping up and in the planning stages: Genesis Global Trading, an over-the-counter firm specializing in digital currency, and Grayscale Investments, an asset management firm. Silbert wants to make 10 to 20 new investments within the next year, with new ventures on the horizon in data, consulting and other areas.

Eventually, moving toward relationships with insurance firms would leverage existing relationships with the nearly 60 companies that are in DCG’s digital currency network. Silbert told Forbes he sees potential in serving banking, working capital and other financial areas, with lending among those services, too.

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