A lot of people active in the Bitcoin world will have heard about the recent investment in Digital Currency Group by Western Union. This news has caused a lot more questions than answers, although it seems DCG has added some new advisors to their board who will help shape the future for Bitcoin and blockchain.
The New Digital Currency Group Advisors
Although there has been a lot of focus on the investment made by Western Union and other players, the bigger news is how Digital Currency Group has added several new advisors to their team as well. Expanding the board of this six-month-old business will help strengthen their business model, as they want to pivot the focus from Bitcoin to the blockchain.
The two new board members who are officially named are Glenn Hutchins and Lawrence Lenihan. Some people may have heard of those names, even though they will hardly ring a bell among the majority of cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Hutchins is a co-founder of Silver Lake Partners, a private-equity firm. This seems a fascinating fit for DCG, as they are looking to invest in new companies and acquire some equity from these firms.
Lawrence Lenihan, on the other hand, is best known for founding Firstmark Capital and running Resonance. But there are more additions to the Digital Currency Group advisory board, as both former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen were added as senior advisors. Especially this latter one is of particular interest, as it will be interesting to see whether or not his Bitcoin development “job” will be a conflict of interest with advising DCG on strategic investments.
Moreover, it is rather intriguing to see Western Union investing in a company looking to invest in blockchain startups, considering they have partnered with Ripple in the past. Although it is too early to tell if Western Union was not satisfied with the Ripple solution, or only wants to keep all of the options on the table, this is quite the intriguing development, to say the least.
One thing some Bitcoin community members ought to point out is how Digital Currency Group seems to be following the same path as the mainstream media by turning away from Bitcoin and focusing on the blockchain. This seems to be a trend as of late, although it is impossible to disregard the success Bitcoin has had. Additionally, there would be no blockchain without the Bitcoin ecosystem.
With the involvement of new investors who want nothing to do with Bitcoin, it seems like DCG will be moving away from the Bitcoin ecosystem altogether very soon. Not that there’s anything wrong with focusing on the blockchain, but some people would have expected them to stick to their roots and focus on Bitcoin. Then again, if they want to attract more investors from the financial world, they will have to make a tough decision. The appeal of big money will make even this business turn away from Bitcoin, which is a shame.
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