Blythe Masters, formerly of JP Morgan, has raised $54M for her company Digital Asset Holdings.
Apparently she changed some of the naysayer’s minds about Digital Asset Holdings. The group focuses on blockchain solutions that address, in Masters’ words, “real-world financial problems including settlement latency, risk, managing down operational costs, reducing the need for capital requirements” et cetera. It seems that the financial giants finally have one of their own ready to take aim at, arguably, one of the most exciting and wide-reaching developments in finance since….well maybe ever.
Masters is quick to delineate between Bitcoin and the underlying technology. In fact, she distills the concept of the blockchain down to a database technology that allows for a distributed ledger to take the place of a third party. (Basically, all of the reasons that those from the original cypherpunks to Wences Casares and beyond have detailed since the emergence and initial adoption of the technology.) What is most compelling is that Digital Asset Holdings is now taking this technology mainstream, including a formal relationship with the Australian exchange ASX.
Let’s recall. 2015 was quite the year for Masters as Digital Asset Holdings was party to some noteworthy acquisitions, priming the pump for today’s news. With an insider at the helm and no lack of talent interested in getting in on the delivery of blockchain to the giants of finance, the announcement of today’s round just might be a banner day in terms of momentum.
13 major financial institutions took part in the round and it sounds as if many more wanted. Masters states that those investors were strategic in that they play a variety of roles in financial services that will accelerate the rollout and adoption of blockchain tech. Those 13 include JP Morgan Chase, CitiGroup, BNP Paribas, ABN Amro, PNC, CME, ASX, Accenture, Broadridge Financial Solutions, ICAP, among others. Clearly the “who’s who” of financial institutions.
As Masters continues to speak of use case after use case for Digital Asset Holdings and the blockchain tech that will power her company, one cannot help but feel that those who know blockchain could have deduced most of them. However, that isn’t the point. Historically financial institutions have been slow and messy on the uptake of new tech. Masters’ Digital Asset Holdings is well-positioned to bring the blockchain into the limelight. With a new war chest of $54M and all the connectivity that a fintech company could ever ask for, Masters may be positioned to do just that.
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