Blockchain DAppsEquities/Derivatives

Blythe Masters’ Digital Asset Closes $50M Round with ABN AMRO, Accenture, ASX, BNP, Broadridge, Citi, CME, Deutsche Börse, ICAP, J.P. Morgan, Santander

Digital Asset Holdings, the blockchain technology developer lead by Blythe Masters, today announced that it has raised more than $50 million in funding from some high profile financial services sector corporations. They include ABN AMRO, Accenture, ASX Limited, BNP Paribas, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., Citi, CME Ventures, Deutsche Börse Group, ICAP, J.P. Morgan, Santander InnoVentures, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) and The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

Masters, founder and CEO of Digital Asset, is a famed J.P. Morgan economist and inventor of credit default swaps. Masters commented on the investment round:

These investments represent a tremendous endorsement of Digital Asset from banks, exchanges, settlement and clearing firms, central securities depositories, and market infrastructure and professional services providers. Our strategic investors have come together from across the financial services industry to help drive global adoption of transformative solutions which enhance the vital services that they provide.

Launched in 2015, Digital Asset seeks to implement distributed ledger technology in the fiancial services industry to improve efficiency, security, compliance and settlement speed while reducing costs.

As a result of the investment round, the company’s board of directors will be expanded to include Catherine Flax, Head of Commodity Derivatives and Foreign Exchange & Local Markets, Americas of BNP Paribas, Ashwin Kumar, Group Head of Product Development of Deutsche Börse Group, Sanoke Viswanathan, Chief Administrative Officer of J.P. Morgan’s Corporate & Investment Bank, and Mike Bodson, President & Chief Executive Officer of DTCC. These executives will join Masters, Donald Wilson, Sunil Hirani, Cristóbal Conde and an additional director who will be named shortly.

Viswanathan of J.P. Morgan noted:

We are proud to be a lead investor in this round of financing. Distributed Ledger Technology has the potential to transform the way our industry does business, and we believe Digital Asset has the right talent and technology to make it a reality.

Elmer Funke Kupper, ASX Managing Director and CEO, said:

ASX believes that Australia can be a world leader in the development of innovative post-trade solutions. Our investment in Digital Asset represents a commitment to sizing the potential of Distributed Ledger Technology to reduce cost, risk and complexity for ASX’s broad stakeholder base, including issuers, investors, intermediaries and regulators.

ASX today also announced the selection of Digital Asset to examine integration of the Australian Stock Exchange and market with blockchain technology.

Olivier Osty, Global Head of Sales & Trading, Global Markets at BNP Paribas, added:

In today’s digital economy improving efficiency, security, compliance and settlement speed are key. BNP Paribas is excited to be partnering with Digital Asset and we look forward to working together to explore how this technology can help shape the future for financial services.

Carsten Kengeter, CEO of Deutsche Börse Group, commented:

We look forward to working closely with Digital Asset and other stakeholders in this innovative technology. This relationship will leverage our ambitions to utilize Distributed Ledger Technology to bring effective solutions to our clients.

Owen Jelf, Global Managing Director of Accenture’s capital markets business, said:

Early on, Accenture recognized the potential benefits that blockchain-enabled distributed ledgers could offer to the capital markets and wider financial services industry. By investing in Digital Asset, we’re working to help banks and other leading financial institutions around the world bring more efficiency to their front, middle and back office trading operations and unlock new revenue opportunities. We believe this is a technology that has the potential to dramatically change the financial services landscape.

Tim Gokey, Chief Operating Officer, Broadridge Financial Solutions said:

The financial services industry is undergoing significant transformation and innovative technologies like Distributed Ledger Technology have the potential to usher in a new era of automation, efficiency, process reengineering and operational excellence across the financial ecosystem. We are delighted to be a strategic investor in Digital Asset and we look forward to continuing to build differentiated solutions that will help our global clients achieve their growth and operational goals.

Mike Bodson, President & CEO of DTCC, stated:

Distributed Ledger Technology offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to re-imagine and modernize the industry’s infrastructure to address long-standing operational challenges. This investment positions DTCC to play a leading role in fostering industry-wide adoption and helping to introduce the standards, governance and technology to support distributed ledger implementations. We look forward to working with our partners at Digital Asset to explore opportunities to improve upon the existing infrastructure in certain defined areas where automation is limited or non-existent and where the technology provides a clear benefit over existing processes.

Johan van Hall, member of the ABN AMRO Managing Board, noted:

The participation of ABN AMRO in Digital Asset demonstrates our belief that new technology will play an important role in innovations in the financial system. It will be key to develop new products and services and to make global financial markets operate more efficiently in the interest of our clients. Digital Asset is uniquely positioned in this emerging technology.

Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P. served as Digital Asset’s placement agent in the transaction, and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP served as Digital Asset’s legal advisor in the transaction.

Digital Asset is headquartered in New York City but has offices in San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Budapest, and recently opened London office.

Journalist, policy analyst, and evangelist of new, disruptive technologies including big data analytics, Internet of Things, and cryptocurrencies. Internet industry veteran with regional c-suite experience, and journalist credentials earned at, Internet World magazine, and Mecklermedia Corporation.
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