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Sideways: Code switching for crypto bros

Bitcoin’s move into the mainstream is forcing crypto financiers to develop code switching skills to communicate with Wall Street without alienating online evangelists.


When BlockFi co-founder Zac Prince suffered online attacks alleging that his firm could have lost $232 million from a reversal in an arbitrage play between the price of bitcoin and a premium to net asset value for the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, he knew what to do.

Rather than issuing a formal rebuttal of the allegations, Prince instead made appearances on bitcoin podcasts where he could be confident of a friendly reception. Prince’s firm is a sponsor of one of the podcasts, something that should inspire confidence in any guest.

Prince isn’t just hoping to profit from holding bitcoin, however. He is trying to build a financial services business that will “redefine banking” by moving beyond its core crypto lending activity.

Prince isn’t just hoping to profit from holding bitcoin... He is trying to build a financial services business that will ‘redefine banking’

BlockFi already has more than 500 employees and aims to expand beyond 1,000. It recently raised $350 million in a funding round that was announced with excellent timing just as speculation about trading losses spread and that took the firm’s valuation to $3 billion.


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