|Type||Privately held company|
|Barry Silbert (CEO)|
|AUM||$50 billion (Sept. 2021)|
Digital Currency Group (DCG) is a venture capital company focusing on the digital currency market. It is located in Stamford, Connecticut. The company has five subsidiaries which are CoinDesk, Foundry, Genesis, Grayscale Investments, and Luno.
Digital Currency Group was launched in 2015 by Barry Silbert, a graduate of Emory University who previously was CEO of SecondMarket, Inc. He began investing in blockchain technology companies in 2013. Shortly after SecondMarket’s sale, Silbert formed Digital Currency Group, with Genesis and Grayscale becoming the first of the company’s subsidiaries.
In November 2021, the firm announced it would relocate its Manhattan headquarters to Stamford, Connecticut. The governor of Connecticut at the time, Ned Lamont, provided financial incentives for the company to relocate to Stamford, including a $5 million grant from the state government if Digital Currency Group created at least 300 full-time jobs in the state.
As of November 2021, Digital Currency Group had made over 200 investments in other cryptocurrency companies.
Main article: Genesis Global Capital
Genesis is a crypto trading, lending, and asset custody platform, targeting institutional clients and high net worth individuals. They claim to have been the first OTC Bitcoin crypto desk, launched in 2013.
Genesis acquired the London-based crypto asset custodian company Volt in early 2020. Genesis' sister company Grayscale Investments had been custodying its crypto assets with the company Xapo, which had been acquired by Genesis' rival Bitcoin trading company Coinbase in 2019. News media speculated that Genesis' crypto custody would be transferred away from Coinbase and made internal to Greyscale after completion of the Volt acquisition.
In late June and early July 2022, Genesis publicly revealed that it had been left exposed to hundreds of millions of dollars in losses from loans to both the Hong Kong based crypto lender Babel Finance and the bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), and that its parent company DCG had taken on some of Genesis' debts in order to keep the company afloat. On August 17, 2022, CEO Michael Moro resigned from his position. Genesis Trading announced that he would be serving in an advisory position to help with the transition while COO Derar Islim took over his duties as interim CEO.
Main article: Grayscale Investments
Established in 2013, Grayscale Investments is a digital currency asset manager. It offers funds privately for institutional and accredited investors and publicly-traded products. They were the world’s largest asset manager for digital currency, as of December 2021, with more than $50 billion in assets under management at the time. Grayscale also manages the Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC), which was the first publicly quoted securities solely invested in the price of bitcoin upon its launch in 2013.
As of April 2021, six of Grayscale’s funds were traded publicly on the OTCQX market: the Bitcoin Cash, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, the Grayscale Ethereum Trust, the Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust, the Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund, and the Grayscale Litecoin Trust.
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust was approved for public trading by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in 2015. On January 21, 2020, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust became the first digital currency financial product to become a Securities and Exchange Commission reporting company.
In 2018, Grayscale launched the Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund which allows a customer to invest in a group of prominent digital currencies. The fund was approved to trade on public markets by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in October 2019. In May 2022, it was reported that Grayscale would list an exchange-traded fund (ETF) for the first time in Europe. The ETF was said to be made up of companies representing the "Future of Finance", and would begin trading on May 17.
Main article: CoinDesk
CoinDesk is a global media, research, and events platform that was acquired by Digital Currency Group in 2016. It reports on blockchain’s daily news, provides a Bitcoin Price Index and publishes a quarterly State of Bitcoin report. CoinDesk also hosts a conference on digital currencies and blockchain technologies titled Consensus.
Foundry, established in 2019, sets up and manages bitcoin mining operations in the United States and Canada. In addition to setting up and operating its own cryptocurrency mining equipment, Foundry also provides financing, specialized digital mining equipment, and expertise to other digital currency startups.
In the summer of 2021, Foundry helped to relocate over $300 million worth of equipment from China to North America following the Chinese government shutting down many cryptocurrency mining operations.
In September 2020 Digital Currency Group acquired Luno, a cryptocurrency exchange based in London, with other operations in Cape Town and Singapore. At the time of the acquisition, Luno had more than 5 million customers.
Main article: Bankruptcy of FTX
On November 10, 2022, DCG subsidiary Genesis Trading posted to their official Twitter feed that they had lost approximately $175 million dollars in the bankruptcy of FTX caused by the bankruptcy of Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX. The company claimed that "This does not impact our market-making activities." On November 16, 2022, DCG subsidiary Genesis Global Capital suddenly halted all Bitcoin withdrawals and loan applications for their customers. On November 17, 2022, the Wall Street Journal reported that it had obtained confidential documents stating that Genesis was undergoing an "ongoing run on deposits" and a $1 billion emergency loan by the following Monday, November 21.