Digital Asset Holdings, a buzzy bitcoin startup headed up by the legendary Blythe Masters is struggling to raise funding, according to a report in The New York Times.
Masters rose to fame at JP Morgan, where she pioneered the credit default swap in the nineties. She turned heads in March 2015 when news broke that she was joining Digital Asset Holdings, a startup focusing on the blockchain.
The blockchain is the technology underpinning bitcoin, the dgital currency. It’s a decentralised ledger of all transactions on the network, and can be used to transfer value very quickly and cheaply.
While bitcoin is struggling to get any mainstream appeal, buzz is continuing to grow around the blockchain — which financial institutions view as a way to streamline their businesses. Blockchain is “no longer a choice,” Visa recently declared.
Digital Asset Holdings is one of a few startups in the space vying to build blockchain tools for financial institutions — but it is reportedly having trouble raising funds.
The company is trying to raise $35 million (£24 million), The New York Post first reported earlier this month. According to Nathaniel Popper, a reporter for The New York Times who has written a book on bitcoin, it has been having a hard time convincing investors.
One investor is apparently already locked in: JP Morgan, to the tune of $7.5 million (£5 million). But others, including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, have allegedly “balked.”
One source at a potential investor told Popper that “the deal would need to improve materially for us to get involved … it’s not supercompelling.”
Digital Asset Holdings did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. A company spokesperson denied it was having trouble to The New York Times, without commenting further.
The funding round, if succesful, would value the company at $100 million (£67 million).