The cryptocurrency industry has seen pivotal growth. Over the past few years, several cryptocurrency investment firms and hedge funds have been major players supporting this growth. The in-house legal teams of these investment firms play a critical role and help navigate the complex and rapidly changing legal frameworks surrounding digital assets.
Group of digital currencies
Founded in 2015, the Group of digital currencies is a New York-based venture capital firm that primarily invests in blockchain and cryptocurrency startups. As of September 2021, it had approximately $50 billion in assets under management. She has invested in companies such as Circle and Figure Technologies. In 2016, the Digital Currency Group acquired CoinDesk, a news site specializing in digital currencies.
Chief Legal Officer Mike Katz is the Digital Currency Group’s top in-house counsel. He provides operational and strategic advice on the legal aspects of transactions and understands the unique legal challenges facing the industry. A graduate of Columbia Law School, Katz was previously a startup and venture capital lawyer at Cooley LLP. Prior to that, he was an attorney at the New York law firm Paul Weiss.
Andreessen Horowitz Cryptocurrency Fund a16z
Andreessen Horowitz’s A16z is one of the most prolific investors in cryptocurrency. The Silicon Valley venture capital powerhouse raised a $2.2 billion cryptocurrency venture fund in June 2021. In early 2022, the company announced its ambitions to raise $4.5 billion. for his upcoming cryptocurrency fund.
This investment feat is partly due to the strong team behind a16z. Katie Haun and Chris Dixon co-launched Andreessen’s cryptocurrency funds in 2018. The pair have helped the company raise and deploy several cryptocurrency-focused funds. Former federal prosecutor Katie Haun was Andreessen’s first female sponsor. In January 2022, Katie Haun announced that she would be leaving a16z to start her own fund. Her goal is to create a billion-dollar cryptocurrency fund, which would be the largest Web3 fund raised by a venture capitalist exclusively led by a woman.
General Counsel Miles Jennings leads the legal team. Jennings was a recent recruit at the international law firm Latham & Watkins, where he was a partner.
Paradigm Capital is a multi-stage cryptocurrency venture capital firm that often invests in early-stage startups and then supports their growth by providing additional capital over time. In November 2021, Paradigm launched a $2.5 billion cryptocurrency fund. Paradigm’s massive cryptocurrency fund surpassed the previous record high of $2.2 billion set by a16z in July 2021.
Some of Paradigm’s top wallet investments include Coinbase, FTX, BlockFi, Maker, and Uniswap. Paradigm has also invested in several NFT platforms. For example, the company recently helped Parallel, an NFT sci-fi card game, reach a $500 million valuation in its latest funding round.
Paradigm Capital’s in-house legal team is led by two associate general counsel, Josh Ephraim and Rodrigo Seira. Both previously worked in international law firms focused on startups and venture capital.
Founded in 2013, Pantera Capital is a hedge fund that has built a global portfolio of cryptocurrency and blockchain investments. While the hedge fund was originally founded in 2003, Pantera Capital first launched a bitcoin-focused investment fund in 2013. Since then, the hedge fund has focused exclusively on investing in technology. blockchain. Pantera Capital is based in Menlo Park, California.
Joseph Cisewski, Pantera Capital’s general counsel, has worked in both the public and private sectors. He has held senior positions at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Cisewski is interested in how blockchain technologies can address risks and vulnerabilities in equity and derivatives markets.
Coinbase Ventures: VC branch of the cryptocurrency company
Coinbase Ventures was established in 2018 as the venture capital arm of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. In 2021, Coinbase Ventures completed approximately 150 transactions. The firm has closed around 250 deals to date, many of them in the decentralized finance space. Investments in Web3 infrastructure and protocols were also a significant part of Coinbase Ventures’ portfolio.
One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States, Coinbase is aggressively growing its legal team. Coinbase hired Paul Grewal as Chief Legal Officer in July 2021. Grewal previously served as Facebook’s Deputy General Counsel. Earlier in his career, Grewal had served as a federal magistrate judge, handling major technology cases.
Multicoin Capital is an Austin, Texas-based cryptocurrency investment firm that invests in blockchain startups. In May 2021, he launched a $100 million fund to support companies tackling decentralized finance, web3 infrastructure, and digital collectibles. Kyle Samani, a former engineer who previously founded a healthcare IT startup, founded the company.
Multicoin Capital opened in 2017. The company has maintained a small team of around 30 employees. Gregory Xethalis is General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. Xethalis was previously a partner in a law firm.