Most Influential 2021: Barry Silbert

The founder of Digital Currency Group sees Standard Oil as an inspiration.

AccessTimeIconDec 9, 2021 at 8:25 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:31 p.m. UTC
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If U.S. lawmakers ever target the crypto industry for antitrust activity, Digital Currency Group (DCG) might be top on the list. Founded by Barry Silbert in 2013, DCG is a crypto powerhouse with investments across the industry – including ownership of this publication. It wholly owns digital currency trader and lender Genesis Global Trading and digital asset management firm Grayscale Investments, the provider of the popular bitcoin investment vehicle, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust. This year, Silbert made the case for that trust to be converted into a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), distinct from current bitcoin ETFs that track BTC futures, though that instrument has yet to be approved.

The crypto investment giant expanded further into the world of trading by buying global crypto exchange Luno and crypto mining firm Foundry. DCG is valued at $10 billion, and employees recently sold $700 million worth of shares on secondary markets to SoftBank and Google parent Alphabet’s venture capital branch. Silbert is holding his shares. He even told the Wall Street Journal that he sees Standard Oil, the conglomerate created by John D. Rockefeller, as inspiration for DCG.

(Kevin Ross/CoinDesk)
(Kevin Ross/CoinDesk)


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The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

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