Daily Management Review

A Blockchain Startup Raised $ 52 Million From Major Banks


A blockchain startup Digital Asset Holdings headed by the former executive director of JPMorgan Chase Blythe Masters has announced closing of the financing round, in which it raised $ 52 million investment.

BTC Keychain via flickr
BTC Keychain via flickr
As reported by Bloomberg, the company’s financing was attended by 13 major banks and financial institutions. These are ABN AMRO, Accenture, ASX Limited, BNP Paribas, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Citi, CME Ventures, Deutsche Börse Group, ICAP, J.P. Morgan, Santander InnoVentures, Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) and PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

The news came as a kind of sensation in business circles as early at the end of the 2015, The New York Times claimed that the company is experiencing difficulties in attracting investors. The startup’s head Ms. Masters did not refute the rumors about the bankruptcy of her brainchild. She just called the information "inaccurate", which has given the business community and media confidence an impression that the collapse is inevitable. Now the situation has changed.

Given the scandal with JPMorgan in 2014 made Blythe Masters (she worked there for 23 years) leave the company, she now seems making her way into the IT-sphere quite successfully. She became DA’s director and face in March 2015. From year to year at JPMorgan, Masters led operations in the commodities and bond markets. She is also known as the creator of credit default swaps (CDS) - the derivative largely responsible for the global financial crisis of 2008. Warren Buffett once called CDS "financial weapons of mass destruction."

This biography of DA’s head makes look at the startup closely and think about the future of the financial world. Masters is sure that dispersed digital registers are able to empower business models and introduce fundamental changes into the world financial system.

Digital Asset Holdings is developing a technology platform to communicate with the world of high finance world cryptocurrency. Specifically, the financiers themselves show little interest for the cryptocurrency. What is more important for them is the technology behind Bitcoins, i.e. blockchain - distributed system operations and storage of information about them. Ultimately, DA’s creators are determined to develop a technology for instant and cheap transmission, and secure asset tracking distributed via crypto tools. The key issue in this case is to compound normal market assets controlled by states and the unregulated crypto technology world.

Cooperation with the DA is a step towards development and improvement of services sector of large financial companies, allowing them to attract new potential customers and keep up with the times. In addition, the financiers have an opportunity to get a share of the profits from the introduction of funded development in other sectors of the economy, as well as to influence scope of payment and other services.

One of DA’s partners is Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), which is investing in the development around $ 10 million, receiving a post trading service system in exchange. The stock exchange has gone on such an agreement upon condition to receive a 5% stake in the company.

The post trading service system is managing the risks associated with transactions in the market. At the heart of it is a distributed registry. Thus, the Australian Stock Exchange has become a kind of experimental platform for the block chain development.  

source: bloomberg.com