OMERS Ventures invests in Digital Currency Group


OMERS Ventures, Digital Currency

OMERS Ventures has made an undisclosed investment in Digital Currency Group (DCG), a New York-based builder, incubator and funder of bitcoin and blockchain technology-related companies. According to a Wall Street Journal report, OMERS Ventures was part of a financing round that included multiple other investors, including HCM International Co, Prudential Financial Inc, and Western Union Co. DCG was founded last year by CEO Barry Silbert. OMERS Ventures, an investment arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, said it is backing DCG because it addresses “a large and rapidly growing market” that is “set to disrupt global financial services.”

PRESS RELEASE

Our Latest Investment: Digital Currency Group

April 28, 2016

It brings us great excitement to announce our investment in Digital Currency Group (DCG), a builder and supporter of bitcoin and blockchain companies through insights, network, and access to capital.

Technology is changing the way world does commerce. The $1.2 trillion global payments industry involves a complex ecosystem of banks, intermediaries, payment networks, merchant acquirers, and money transmitters that verify processes and settle transactions. Such an ecosystem is necessary to validate and secure the integrity of transactions but it also creates significant barriers for the consumers since each party needs to be incentivized in the process. Like many other industries, the global financial services industry is undergoing a significant technological change.

Blockchain is set to disrupt global financial services. The market is nascent, and while we are still in the early stages of understanding the true impacts of this technology, the decentralized network technology underlying crypto-currency such as bitcoin is set to transform the current industry. Many of the world’s largest banks are currently piloting blockchain related projects to improve their products/services and operations and we anticipate a broad adoption throughout the financial services industry over the next five years. Moreover, we expect emerging blockchain 2.0 applications, including the powering of smart contracts, ownership/asset transfer, identity management, security, and IoT networks to enable a breadth of products and services.

DCG is addressing this large market and has a unique and important position in the blockchain ecosystem through its four business divisions: Grayscale, Genesis Trading, DCG Investments and CoinDesk. DCG has an exceptional management team and we believe in their vision to shape the foundation for the digital currency revolution. An investment in DCG represents a strong opportunity for OMERS Ventures to participate in a large and rapidly growing market. We are proud to welcome Barry Silbert and DCG to the OMERS Ventures family.

Source: OMERS Ventures

Photo: Bitcoin (virtual currency) coins are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris July 11, 2014.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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