Barry Silbert Launches Digital Currency Group With Funding From MasterCard, Others

Less than a week after selling SecondMarket to NASDAQ, Barry Silbert has announced the official launch and and first round of funding for Digital Currency Group.

Talking onstage to TechCrunch Editor John Biggs today at Money 20/20, Silbert announced that the company has closed a round from Bain Capital Ventures, Transamerica Ventures, FirstMark Capital, MasterCard, and New York Life, among others.

For many in that group, DCG will be the first investment they have made in the digital currency and blockchain space. Silbert stressed these were all carefully chosen partners who share a long-term perspective on crypto-companies.

Interestingly, while DCG will be structured as a company and not a fund, they will still make investments in Bitcoin startups. Silbert explained “being structured as a company, versus a fund, allows us to evolve with the industry given our permanent capital base and flexible mandate”.

In addition to these investments, the company will also operate wholly-owned subsidiaries Genesis Global Trading, a bitcoin OTC trading firm, and Greyscale Investments, the firm that manages the publicly traded Bitcoin Trust (Symbol: GBTC). Silbert also said that DCG will launch a third wholly-owned subsidiary in 2016.

Ultimately, Silbert explained that the company will be building the largest early-stage investment portfolio in the digital currency and blockchain ecosystem. He noted that since his early Bitcoin investments, he has now invested into 57 crypto-related companies across 18 countries.