Grayscale Investments, a digital currency asset manager, announced that Michael Sonnenshein will assume the post of CEO, after taking over from Barry Silbert, the founder of the firm.
Silbert will continue to serve as the CEO of Grayscale’s parent company, Digital Currency Group, a holding company that owns several crypto-related subsidiaries.
Grayscale packages cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as shares in a trust and sells them to accredited investors. This exposes investors to cryptocurrencies in the form of a security minus the risk and effort required in buying and storing digital assets.
Just like traditional shares, investors can sell the shares to the public for a profit, or loss, depending on market conditions.
Sonnenheim’s appointment comes at a time when the cryptocurrency market as a whole is in bullish territory. Bitcoin touched $38,000 today, less than two months after it reached $18K.
The industry’s market cap eclipsed $1 trillion. The meteoric rise in prices has seen Grayscale’s assets under management (AUM) grow from $2 billion in early 2020 to more than $20 billion today.
Sonnenshein has been around the block
Sonnenshein, who assumes his role immediately, has been with the company for seven years. He served as the company’s Managing Director for three years before getting promoted.
Silbert said he couldn’t be more proud of the team which has achieved a lot in the past seven years. Sonnenshein joined the team when they had only one product and managed assets worth $60 million. Today, the company has grown into a global brand with more than 10 products and in excess of $20 billion in assets.
“Under Michael’s leadership, Grayscale has assembled a world-class team hailing from top financial institutions, earned capital allocations from some of the biggest names in the investment community, cultivated partnerships with best-in-class providers, and inspired the next generation of leaders in the digital currency industry. I am excited for Grayscale’s continued expansion and evolution in the years ahead,” said Silbert.
Sonnenshein is tasked with expanding the firm’s operational capabilities. Grayscale expects to hire more staff in 2021 and roll several new products.
The new CEO described the seven years he spent at the company as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and expressed his gratitude for the honor to be appointed the chief executive of the firm.
“I am humbled to be at the helm of this talented group of leaders as we continue to grow Grayscale into a powerhouse firm not just among the digital currency industry, but within the global asset management community as a whole,” said Sonnenshein.
Before he began his stint at Grayscale, Sonnenshein worked at JPMorgan, Barclays, and Bank of America.