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Barry Silbert Net Worth, Crypto and NFT Investments

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Barry Silbert is the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG). The self-made billionaire and crypto investor is famous in the cryptocurrency space as the CEO of DCG, Grayscale, and his Bitcoin holdings. More so, Barry Silbert is regarded as a crypto whale. The involvement of Barry Silbert in the crypto sphere can be traced to 2012, making him one of the earliest actors in the industry contributing to his net worth over time.

Barry Silbert

Through DCG, Barry Silbert has invested in more than 200 crypto startups. Prominent virtual asset manager Grayscale as a subsidiary of DCG has more than $28 billion worth of BTC, ETH, and other digital assets in its care. The asset manager is the only asset of DCG that generates the most revenue. The position of Grayscale in the crypto market contributed heavily to the net worth of Barry Silbert.

Additionally, prominent crypto organizations like Coinbase, Circle, Ripple, Genesis Trading, Luno, and Coindesk are enjoying the backing of DCG. The organization has contributed to various crypto markets across 30 countries worldwide. Therefore, making the firm one of the biggest and most influential in the industry.

According to Forbes, Barry Silbert is ranked 957 on the list of the richest people on earth in 2022. With his $3.5 billion net worth, Barry Silbert is ranked the 8th richest person in the crypto industry. Barry Silbert lost a significant portion of his net worth due to the bear market that affected the crypto space, a period where various businesses struggled in the industry for stability.

Net Worth of Barry Silbert between 2020-2022

YearNet Worth
2020$2,200,000,000
2021$2,900,000,000
2022$3,200,000,000
2023$4,000,000,000

Early Life

Barry Silbert was born in Gaithersburg, Maryland in 1976. The billionaire has always shown flashes of brilliance at a very tender age. While he was still in High School, he passed the General Securities Representative Exam, earning the qualification of becoming a stockbroker. At age 17, Barry Silbert passed the Series 7 stockbroker exam. One of the youngest to ever achieve such feet.

Thereafter, he bagged a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Accounting from the Goizueta Business School of Emory University. His Journey to the top as a billionaire started at a young age when he sold baseball cards to a stint as an investment banker in New York. He worked there for five (5) years and a half before proceeding to establish SecondMarket.

SecondMarket

After conceiving the idea of providing liquidity for restricted securities in public companies, Barry Silbert established SecondMarket in 2004. Gaining more ground, in 2007, the firm received an undisclosed amount from Pequot Ventures in a Series A funding round. Consequently, the funds provided SecondMarket the financial backing to expand into other asset classes.

The firm gained more financial backing to venture into the Asian Market in 2010 after acquiring $15 million via Series B funding. Thereafter, the firm gained up to $215 million in subsequent funding rounds. During this period, the company has facilitated private-company transactions worth more than $500 million, thereby emerging as a strong competitor to NASDAQ’s Private Market initiative. In 2015, NASDAQ acquired SecondMarket Solutions and renamed it NASDAQ Private Market.

However, before the takeover in 2015, Barry Silbert already stepped down as the CEO of SecondMarket in 2011. According to findings, he left the role with the intention of exploring other aspects of finance and most especially blockchain and cryptocurrency. This focus aided Barry Silbert to acquire his first BTC in 2012. His investment in BTC quickly paid off due to the good condition of the crypto industry as at then. It is worth mentioning that the move contributed to the increase in the net worth of Barry Silbert.

Digital Currency Group (DCG)

Barry Silbert founded the Digital Currency Group in 2015 with the proceeds from the sale of SecondMarket. Before then, the billionaire ventured into the crypto market to invest in projects with high growth potential. DCG intensified its effort toward becoming a force to reckon with in the crypto space.

With an eye for investing in crypto startups, the firm established Genesis Global and Grayscale as its first subsidiaries. Ever since, it has grown from strength to strength, investing in scores of crypto startups. As of September 2021, Digital Currency Group has invested in more than 200 cryptocurrency organizations.

It is worth mentioning that the firm moved its headquarters from Manhattan to Stamford, Connecticut. The then-governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont played a prominent role in the relocation. Ned Lamont designed numerous financial incentives to convince DCG to move to the state. Among these incentives is a $5 million grant pledge if Digital Currency Group creates more than 300 full-time jobs in the state.

Genesis Global Capital

Barry Silbert founded Genesis Global Trading in 2013 as a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group. The business operations of the firm were aimed at providing trading, lending, and custody of virtual assets for institutional investors and wealthy investors. At the inception of the crypto winter in 2022, DCG took some of Genesis’s loans to help the firm remain in operation. The move was necessitated after the collapse of Babel Finance and Three Arrows Capital which couldn’t service their loans with Genesis.

The struggles of Genesis compelled some changes to take place in its organizational structure. On August 17, 2022, Michael Moro stepped down as its CEO, leaving Derar Islim to assume an interim role. Thereafter, the firm revealed that it has up to $2.8 billion in outstanding loans, forcing it to hire investment bank Moelis & Company to help in restructuring.

The collapse of FTX affected Genesis heavily. According to a court filing, the firm lost up to $226.3 million to the collapse of the exchange, making it the largest unsecured creditor of FTX. While battling with its insolvency issues, the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 12, 2023, indicted Genesis Global Capital, LLC for offering unregistered securities to retail investors. A week later, the firm and some of its subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This crisis inflicted a huge downturn in the net worth of Barry Silbert.

Grayscale

The commitment of Barry Silbert to Grayscale investments contributed massively to his net worth. Serving as the bedrock for his financial prosperity. Barry Silbert through DCG established Grayscale investment in 2013. The firm is a virtual currency asset manager that provides funds privately for institutional and accredited investors and publicly-traded products.

As of December 2021, Grayscale was regarded as the largest virtual assets manager in the world. The firm has more than $50 billion in assets under its management. Achieving this remarkable height, In 2018, Grayscale launched the Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund which allows customers to invest in a group of prominent digital currencies.

The investment firm made history through its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust which began trading over-the-counter on the OTCQX market in 2015. With that, the initiative became the first publicly traded Bitcoin fund in the United States. As of April 2021, six of Grayscale’s funds were traded publicly on the OTCQX market. These funds are Bitcoin Cash, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, Grayscale Ethereum Trust, Grayscale Ethereum Classic Trust, Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund, and the Grayscale Litecoin Trust.

On its record-setting streak, Grayscale with 643,572 BTC which is worth about $17 billion has in its possession about 3% of all the available BTC. With that, the firm holds one of the largest shares of BTC. The collapse of FTX also had a significant impact on the firm. In the wake of FTX’s collapse, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust declined by 20% within two weeks.

In 2022, the firm sued the Securities and Exchange Commission for rejecting its proposal to convert its GBTC into an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). In its defense, the regulator cited the lack of proper regulation in the crypto market and the risk of price fixing.

However, the tussle was brought to an end on August 29, 2023. The U.S. Court of Appeal issued a ruling in favor of Grayscale, ordering the SEC to review its decision. According to Judge Neomi Rao, the regulator failed to prove that Grayscale was in the wrong with its filing. With this development, the SEC is expected to review Grayscale’s application again.

Luno

The relationship between the DCG and Luno first surfaced in 2014. Then, DCG invested in the crypto exchange shortly after it was established in 2013. Luno was one of the earliest crypto exchanges with expansion into various cities like London, Singapore, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Lagos, and Sydney.

In September 2020, DCG acquired Luno. Then, Luno had more than 5 million customers. The takeover ushered DCG into the crypto retail sphere. As revealed, Luno maintained its status as an independent organization, functioning as a subsidiary of DCG.

Controversies involving Barry Silbert, DCG and its subsidiaries

Amid the ongoing probe into several internal transactions between Digital Currency Group and its crypto lending subsidiary, Genesis, Silbert has been enmeshed in numerous controversies. Recall that federal investigators in New York as well as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission started investigating DCG empire over suspected financial misconduct. It is worth mentioning that Silbert established DCG in 2015, with the likes of Genesis, Grayscale, and many more as its subsidiary.

Our findings traced the genesis of the crisis to the 2022 bear market which consequently plunged 3AC, a crypto hedge fund into a financial crisis. Prior to the crisis, Genesis Capital consistently lent 3AC, DCG, its parent firm, and other crypto hedge funds money. As for 3AC, the offered loans provided an enablement for it to spike the value of GBTC premium, an offering by Grayscale, a Bitcoin custodian. By so doing, the revenue of Grayscale began to skyrocket, thereby aiding DCG’s financial buoyancy.

However, following the bear market that greeted the crypto sphere in early 2022, GBTC premium recorded a huge fall. But, this never stopped Genesis from giving out loans to 3AC and DCG. Documents show that 3AC collected $2.36 billion in loans from Genesis before its liquidation. This thus leaves a huge hole in the balance sheet of the DCG lending subsidiary.

DCG as the parent firm of Genesis engaged in internal accounting measures to cover the holes and sustain the existence of its subsidiary. But, after the collapse of FTX worsened the situations in the market, Genesis plunged into what it described as an “unprecedented market turmoil.” The lending firm also stopped withdrawals from its network. Then, it became public knowledge that DCG had also collected at least $573 million in loans from its subsidiary.

Before plunging into bankruptcy, Genesis had engaged in a partnership with Gemini for its “Earn Program.” The Gemini Earn Program was designed to offer at least 8% annual interest returns on their investments. With its financial crisis, Genesis could not pay the $900 million it owes Gemini investors through the Earn Program, thereby igniting various allegations of fraud against Silbert and other top executives of DCG.

One of the allegations against Silbert and DCG came from the CEO of Gemini, Cameron Winklevoss. He accused Silbert of swindling about 340,000 crypto investors via Gemini Earn. In a January 2022 letter, Winklevoss said Silbert made several bad decisions as regards the financial relationship between Genesis and 3AC.

The CEO reflected on how Genesis issued a $2.36 billion loan in crypto to the struggling hedge fund, thereby leaving the lender with a loss of $1.2 billion following the liquidation of the fund. He said, “At this point, Barry Silbert had two legitimate options: restructure the Genesis loan book (inside or outside of bankruptcy court) or fill the $1.2 billion hole. He did neither.”

Winklevoss added that Silbert and DCG decided to hide the financial status of Genesis after the collapse of 3AC. This, as alleged, was done to mislead and manipulate Gemini users that nothing was wrong with the crypto lender.

In reaction, Silbert described the allegation by Winklevoss as false and misleading. In a letter to shareholders of DCG, he insisted that the firm shares no relationship whatsoever with 3AC. According to him, only Genesis had a relationship with the struggling crypto hedge fund. Meanwhile, he admitted that 3AC couldn’t refund the loans it took from Genesis, thereby necessitating the intervention of DCG.

https://twitter.com/BarrySilbert/status/1609926715454771200

Silbert said DCG intervened to de-escalate the possible contagion of Genesis’s exposure to 3AC. Through its intervention, the CEO disclosed that DCG issued a $1.1 billion promissory note to Genesis, thereby replacing its unsecured funds with 3AC. He also clarified that DCG owes its Genesis US$447.5 million and 4,550 BTC which are due in May.

Meanwhile, it is worth mentioning that this clarification by Silbert has not stopped investors from dragging him. Most of them feel his incompetency and bad decision plunged Genesis into a state of the financial crisis. Some others alleged that the CEO engaged in numerous financial misconduct through DCG and its subsidiaries, thereby plunging investors into a state of dilemma.

However, in spite of the several controversies trailing Silbert, he is yet to be accused or charged for anything by SEC or New York prosecutors. Although as investigations into the financial activities of DCG proceeds, more facts about Silbert’s role in the financial crisis of Genesis have continued to emerge.

On July 2023, the saga took a new twist after Gemini filed a lawsuit against DCG and Silbert at the New York Court. In a series of Twitter posts, Cameron Winklevoss confirmed the filing, describing Silbert as the mastermind of the alleged fraud against Gemini investors. Winklevoss shared a screenshot of the lawsuit document which explained Silbert’s role in ensuring the continuation of the Gemini Earn despite knowing that Genesis was already bankrupt.

Also, the Gemini CEO alleged that Silbert lied that DCG had absorbed the $1.2 billion hole in Genesis’ balance sheet due to the collapse of 3AC. According to him, DCG issued a “sham” promissory note and misrepresented it as a “Current Asset.”

Ongoing Lawsuit against Genesis and Gemini

Meanwhile, the U.S. SEC has instituted a lawsuit against Gemini and Genesis over the “Earn Program.” According to the filing, both firms offered unregistered crypto assets securities to investors through the program. Recall that Genesis and Gemini had collaborated to initiate the program. SEC claimed the firms amassed billions of dollars in crypto assets from more than 300,000 investors.

After plunging into a state of the financial crisis following its exposure to 3AC and FTX contagion, Genesis announced that it lacked enough liquid assets to meet up with withdrawal requests from Gemini investors. SEC, in its filing, said the Earn program should have been registered with the agency since it falls under securities. According to our findings, Jonathan Austin and Ashley Sprague carried out the investigations on behalf of SEC.

Is Barry Silbert Pro Bitcoin?

Over time, Silbert has proven to be a consistent evangelist of cryptocurrencies. He has continued to drive the adoption of cryptocurrencies by promoting the assets, particularly BTC on social media. The popular investor has never hidden his admiration for his favorite crypto, Bitcoin. One of his posts about BTC on Twitter was that; “In 2013, everybody thought we were crazy for launching a Bitcoin investment fund. Well, look at us now.” In 2014, he publicly boasted about the growing significance of BTC, saying banks cannot ignore the token anymore. Also in 2022, he hinted about his plan to buy more BTC.

https://twitter.com/barrysilbert/status/1499036957816598532

Before coming into the crypto scene, he was an established entrepreneur and investment manager. When he found love in crypto, he decided to abandon his career in the field of traditional finance. This thus explains the level of admiration Silbert has for digital assets.

Barely a few years after entering the industry, he founded DCG, a firm that has developed to become one of the biggest web3 conglomerates around. Not long, DCG bought Grayscale, a virtual asset manager, Foundry, a Bitcoin miner, and many others. This thus expanded the revenue and net worth of the firm as it also raised $700 million at a $10 billion valuation. Although DCG and its subsidiary are facing investigations over alleged financial misconduct, Silbert has already established himself as an influential figure in the industry.

Crypto and NFT holdings of Barry Silbert

As of the time of writing, information about overall crypto holdings of Silbert is not in the public domain. But it is certain that the DCG owner will hold a significant amount of cryptocurrencies, particularly BTC in his portfolio. Over time, Silbert has been described as a Bitcoin whale. It is imperative to explain that the term “whale” is used in the crypto industry to describe an investor with a significant percentage of a particular token.

Silbert in one of his interviews once revealed that he bought his first crypto, BTC in 2012. According to him, he bought $175,000 worth of BTC at $11 each. This thus makes him one of the early and most famous Bitcoin investors. Now, each BTC trades in thousands of dollars, thereby translating into a heavy gain for the investor.

Meanwhile, no credible source has been able to confirm if Silbert holds NFTs. Our findings reveal that he has never spoken about investing in NFTs either personally or through his firm.

Crypto Projects featuring Barry Silbert

Although Silbert is yet to feature in any crypto projects, he is a proud owner of DCG that manages virtual assets for investors through its Grayscale subsidiary. However, it is not in doubt that the self-made billionaire and crypto investor is one of the top personalities almost every crypto project would like to feature.

Possibly, Wall Street Memes is likely to feature the CEO of the Digital Currency Group. Nevertheless, Wall Street Memes has grown in relevance due to the success of its Wall St Bulls NFT collection which was launched in 2021. Now, the launching of its $WSM token in May 2023 has further projected Wall Street Memes into the limelight. The token racked up more than $1.3 million in less than a week into its presale.

Due to that, many cryptocurrency enthusiasts regarded it as one of the best crypto presales in recent years. Also, the Wall Street Memes Community has proven to be a major force in projecting $WSM. The activities of the community and growing influence have attracted the attention of top personalities like Elon Musk. With its present projection, investors are confident that $WSM is the next cryptocurrency to rally high. Consequently, convincing them to acquire the token at a voluminous rate. Visit wallstmemes.com to be one of the early investors of the next big thing in crypto.

Barry Silbert Net Worth – Our Verdict

We have been able to break down the net worth of Barry Silbert with emphasis on how his investments in the world of traditional finance and crypto have played significant role in his wealth. Although, the DCG owner has been ravaged by controversies over his alleged involvement in the fall of Genesis and its consequent impact on Gemini investors. Federal authorities are investigating the alleged misconduct. Genesis reportedly owes Gemini investors about $900 million and there is no hope in sight on when they will be able withdraw their funds. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has charged both Gemini and Genesis over this issue and it is certain that the aftermath of the legal battle will impact the net worth of Barry Silbert.

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FAQs

Is Barry Silbert Pro Bitcoin?

Yes. Barry Silbert has, over time, established himself as an evangelist of BTC. In recent times, he made several Twitter posts to promote the crypto to his large followers.

Is Genesis Crypto lending firm a subsidiary of DCG?

Yes. The Digital Currency Group, popularly known as DCG founded Genesis as one of its subsidiaries a few years ago.

What is the relationship between Genesis and Gemini?

Gemini collaborated with Genesis to offer an “Earn Program” for its users. However, Genesis plunged into a state of financial crisis following the collapse of FTX. Occasioned by this development, it could not pay about 300,000 Gemini investors their investments, thereby triggering investigations by the U.S. SEC.