Digital Currency Group (DCG), the Bitcoin venture investment firm of SecondMarket founder Barry Silbert (and the owner of CoinDesk since January), has made a number of moves that further expand its connection with the wider business community in the U.S.
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This week DCG announced a collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Inc., to help bring blockchain startups and established companies to collaborate on experiments.
Scott Mullins, Head of Worldwide Financial Services Business Development, AWS, commented: “Today in Financial Services, distributed ledger technology is at the forefront of any discussion related to innovation. AWS is working with financial institutions and blockchain providers to spur innovation and facilitate frictionless experimentation. DCG is a recognized leader in DLT, and we are excited to work with them and their portfolio companies to provide laboratory environments for enterprise experimentation with blockchain technology on AWS.”
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Last week DCG revealed it was joined by new investors including Beijing-based HCM International Company, a number of family offices, investment managers, and funds including Gibraltar Ventures, OMERS Ventures, Horizon Kinetics, Kingsbridge Wealth Management, and Wood Investment Partners. The most interesting new investor for the Bitcoin firm is traditional money transfer giant Western Union (NYSE:WU).
First Class Lobbyists
DCG has also revealed that it has expanded its team with a number of new hires. Glenn Hutchins joined the DCG Board of Directors – he is the Chairman of North Island and a co-founder of Silver Lake, a director of both AT&T and Nasdaq, and a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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.”
Lawrence “Larry” Summers has also join the firm as a Senior Advisor – the former Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton and the Director of the National Economic Council for President Obama. 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.”
The company says it brought the men on-board for their experience and knowledge, but as is common on Wall St, connections are probably the real reason. We will see how this pays off when they will need to lobby the US government on various issues regarding cryptocurrency regulation.