A leader in the cryptocurrency industry, Barry Silbert is the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG), a collection of five companies that concentrate on various segments of the digital currency market. DCG’s subsidiaries include CoinDesk, a media and research platform; Gensis 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.
In addition to being a business owner, Silbert is also an avid investor in the cryptocurrency space, having backed over 200 startups in 35 countries. Some of his notable investments include Coinbase, Kraken, Circle, Chainalysis, Etherscan, and many others. Silbert is also recognized for being one of the first adopters of Bitcoin (BTC), having purchased 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 has 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 also attained the status of an SEC reporting company, becoming the first digital currency investment vehicle to do so.
Grayscale also offers other products that track the performance of other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and more. 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 evidenced 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 aims to empower miners and stakers with the tools and resources they need to build decentralized networks and secure blockchains. 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. Foundry also provides institutional-grade custody solutions for miners and stakers through its partnership with Coinbase Custody.
Creating a better financial system that leverages the potential of blockchain technology and digital assets is Silbert’s vision for DCG. 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 expressed his support for Bitcoin on social media platforms like Twitter, where he frequently shares his insights and opinions on the cryptocurrency industry.
A bankruptcy case against Barry Silbert, the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG), was caused by the failure of one of his subsidiaries, Genesis Global Capital, a crypto lending and trading firm. After failing to repay its creditors, including Gemini Trust Co., a crypto exchange and trust company owned by the Winklevoss twins, Genesis Global Capital filed for bankruptcy in January 2023. In July 2023, Gemini Trust Co. accused DCG and Silbert of fraud and deception and sued them.
The dispute between Gemini Trust Co. and DCG revolves around the Gemini Earn program, which allowed Gemini customers to earn interest on their crypto deposits by lending them out through Genesis Global Capital. 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.
DCG and Barry Silbert millionaire filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in August 2023, arguing that Gemini Trust Co. failed to properly allege fraud or knowledge of fraud by DCG or Silbert. 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.[