Joseph Lubin, the co-founder of Ethereum and head of ConsenSys, has invested $6.5 million in a startup managed by former R3 executives, called ‘DrumG’.
DrumG was formed in June 2017 in Bermuda. In a Medium post, CEO Tim Grant introduces it as “a global team of experienced professionals who are committed to delivering real business value to the enterprise user in institutional financial services using distributed ledger technology.”
Apropos experienced professionals, he lists the work experience of members of the team (BS Investment Bank, Barclays, J.P. Morgan, Bloomberg, IBM, PwC, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters) and notes that he himself once worked for $6 billion hedge fund UBS O’Connor, and was CEO of R3 Lab and Research Center for two years.
Welcomed @ethereumJoseph to discuss how @ConsenSys and the @BdaGovernment can work together to ensure that #Bermuda continues to be a leader in #blockchain innovation. We thank ConsenSys for their commitment to #Bermuda thus far and look forward to more joint projects. pic.twitter.com/3Bq0YoYjaB
— Premier David Burt (@BermudaPremier) October 1, 2018
R3 of New York is a software firm which runs a distributed ledger technology-focused research consortium of more than 200 major firms, such as Barclays, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Deutsche Bank, and so on.
Ethereum, of course, is an open-source blockchain platform for developing decentralised applications. ConsenSys, which Canadian entrepreneur Lubin created in early 2015, develops applications using the Ethereum blockchain. Based in New York, it has additional offices in San Francisco, Toronto, Dubai, Singapore, and Brisbane and employs around 450 people in total.
Lubin’s net worth was estimated by Forbes in February 2018 to be between $1 billion and $5 billion.
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“…employing informatics as a strategic control to achieve our resonance…”
Forbes describes DrumG as a stealth startup, meaning a new business that avoids drawing attention to itself. Presumably, that stage is over.
Reading the Medium article describing the purpose of DrumG, one must dig through some choice jargon (“DrumG is here to introduce the post-blockchain practice of employing informatics as a strategic control to achieve our resonance”) to discover that the aim of the company is to serve clients by matching them with the appropriate technology.
Grant explains: “We have architected [sic] a technology layer that sits above enterprise blockchains and allows us to deliver value to the clients we network together.”
Grant specifies that the company will not make blockchains, but build upon them. He uses a new term – “ledger appropriate” – to describe the company’s aim, which is to select “select the right enterprise distributed ledger platform” on behalf of its “network founder clients.”
So, it is not partial to any one system. He mentions ConsenSys, R3, Digital Asset, Axoni, Microsoft, Intel and IBM as networks that he admires.
A Significant Presence in Bermuda
ConsenSys now owns a minority stake in the business, and Lubin will sit on the board of directors. Lubin says that DrumG will have a “significant presence” in the Consensys network, which currently boasts approximately 50 projects, according to Forbes. Said Lubin: “…Web 3.0, linking corporations to public blockchains—that’s definitely an interledger future… ”
At the end of his introduction in Medium, Grant says: “Oh, and why Bermuda? That’s a story for another day…”
The British Overseas Territory in the sunny Caribbean has been indicating its interest in attracting overseas cryptocurrency companies since last year. It created a blockchain task force in November of 2017 and has already passed a couple of laws concerning such entities. Premier David Burt said in March 2018 that he wants the territory to regulate ICOs, and recently, the Bermuda Business Development Agency estimated every blockchain job created there would generate $286,000 in value.
Interestingly, the Bermudan minister of finance was on the stage with Lubin and Grant when they announced their deal.