Everything You Need to Know: How Barry Silbert Promotes Positive Changes for Cryptocurrency like BTC
As the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG), a group of five companies that specialize in different facets of the digital currency market, Barry Silbert is a leading figure in the cryptocurrency industry. The subsidiaries of DCG are CoinDesk, a media and research platform; Genesis Trading, a trading and lending firm; Grayscale, an asset management firm; Foundry, a mining and staking firm; and Luno, an exchange and wallet platform. Through these businesses, Silbert pursues his goal of accelerating the development of a better financial system that utilizes the potential of blockchain technology and digital assets.
Besides being an entrepreneur, Silbert is also a keen investor in the cryptocurrency space, having supported over 200 startups in 35 countries. Some of his notable investments include Coinbase, Kraken, Circle, Chainalysis, Etherscan, and many others. Silbert is also renowned for being one of the early adopters of Bitcoin (BTC), having acquired his first bitcoins in 2012. He later sold his online marketplace SecondMarket to Nasdaq in 2015 and used the proceeds to launch DCG.
Grayscale Investments , which provides investors with exposure to various digital assets through its trust products, is one of Silbert’s most significant contributions to the cryptocurrency industry. Grayscale’s flagship product is the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which holds over 650,000 BTC as of September 2021. GBTC allows investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin without having to buy or store it themselves. GBTC is also the first digital currency investment vehicle to attain the status of an SEC reporting company.
Other products that track the performance of other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and more, are also offered by Grayscale. Grayscale has also launched several diversified products, such as the Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund, which invests in a basket of the largest digital currencies by market capitalization. Grayscale’s products have attracted significant institutional and retail demand, as shown by its growing assets under management (AUM), which reached over $40 billion in August 2021.
Another notable initiative by Silbert is Foundry, which was launched in 2020 to provide financing and advisory services to the digital asset mining and staking industry. Foundry’s goal is to empower miners and stakers with the tools and resources they need to secure blockchains and build decentralized networks. Foundry has invested over $100 million into mining equipment and operations in North America, making it one of the largest Bitcoin mining investors in the region. Through its partnership with Coinbase Custody, Foundry also offers institutional-grade custody solutions for miners and stakers.
Silbert’s vision for DCG is to leverage the potential of blockchain technology and digital assets to create a better financial system. Not only a store of value, but also a catalyst for social change and economic empowerment are what he considers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to be. He has been vocal about his support for Bitcoin on social media platforms like Twitter, where he often shares his insights and opinions on the cryptocurrency industry.
One of Barry Silbert’s subsidiaries, Genesis Global Capital, a crypto lending and trading firm, failed and led to a bankruptcy case against him, the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG). Genesis Global Capital filed for bankruptcy in January 2023 after it was unable to repay its creditors, including Gemini Trust Co., a crypto exchange and trust company owned by the Winklevoss twins. Accusing them of fraud and deception, Gemini Trust Co. sued DCG and Silbert in July 2023.
The Gemini Earn program, which allowed Gemini customers to earn interest on their crypto deposits by lending them out through Genesis Global Capital, is the source of the dispute between Gemini Trust Co. and DCG. Due to its exposure to the collapse of FTX , a crypto exchange that went bankrupt, Genesis Global Capital froze withdrawals in November 2022, trapping hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Gemini customer assets. DCG and Silbert lied about Genesis Global Capital’s risk management practices and vetting process of counterparties, according to Gemini Trust Co.
Claiming that Gemini Trust Co. failed to properly allege fraud or knowledge of fraud by DCG or Silbert, DCG and Silbert filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in August 2023. They also alleged that Gemini Trust Co. and the Winklevoss twins engaged in a “character assassination campaign” against DCG and Silbert. The case is still pending in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.[