Wences Casares

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Wences Casares
Wences casares (16961441395) (cropped).jpg
Casares in 2015
Born
Wenceslao Casares

(1974-02-26) February 26, 1974 (age 45)
Gobernador Costa, Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina
ResidencePalo Alto, California, United States
EducationHarvard University, University of San Andrés
OccupationCEO of Xapo

Wenceslao Casares, also known as Wences Casares (born February 26, 1974) is an Argentinian technology entrepreneur.[1] He is the CEO of Bitcoin wallet provider, Xapo, and founded Internet Argentina, Wanako Games, Patagon, Lemon Wallet, and Banco Lemon.[2] Casares sits on the boards of PayPal and Coin Center.[3]

Early life[edit]

Casares is the eldest of four from a family of sheep ranchers in Patagonia, Argentina.[1] In high school, Casares earned a Rotary Club scholarship as an exchange student in Washington, Pennsylvania.[4] He returned to Buenos Aires to study business administration for three years at the University of San Andrés and dropped out to launch Argentina's first Internet Service Provider, Internet Argentina S.A. in 1994.[5]

He exited the company and then founded Argentine online brokerage, Patagon, in 1997. Patagon established itself as Latin America's leading comprehensive Internet financial services portal and expanded its online banking services to the United States, Spain, and Germany. Patagon was acquired by the Spanish bank, Banco Santander for $750 million and became Santander Online worldwide.[6] Investors in Patagon included George Soros, Intel, Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase, and entrepreneur Fred Wilson.[2]

Career[edit]

In 2002, Casares founded Wanako Games, (later Behaviour Santiago), a videogame developer headquartered in New York City.[7] Wanako Games was best known for the blockbuster game Assault Heroes and was acquired by Activision in 2007.[8][9]

Casares was the founder and CEO of Lemon Wallet, a digital wallet platform. In 2013 the American firm LifeLock bought Lemon for about $43 million (US).[10][11]

Xapo[edit]

Casares is the CEO of Xapo, a bitcoin wallet startup based in Palo Alto, California.[12] Xapo is said to be the largest custodian of bitcoin in the world and is believed to hold as much as $10 billion of the cryptocurrency in underground vaults on five continents including in a former Swiss military bunker.[13][1] Xapo has raised $40 million from leading Silicon Valley venture capital firms.[14] Widely known as "Patient Zero", Quartz reported that Casares was the entrepreneur to convince Bill Gates, Reid Hoffman, and other tech veterans in Silicon Valley to invest in bitcoin.[3][15]

Philanthropy[edit]

In 2011, Casares was on the jury of the Cartier Women’s Initiative awards.[16] He is a member of the 2017 Class of Henry Crown Fellows in the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute. He is an elected member of the World Economic Forum's “Young Global Leaders” Class of 2011 and regularly attends the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.[17] He is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization. In 2010 Casares partnered with Pablo Bosch to found Las Majadas de Pirque, a social capital and innovation facility owned by Casares in Santiago, Chile.[18][19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Wealthy Are Hoarding $10 Billion of Bitcoin in Bunkers". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  2. ^ a b "The Difference between $1 Billion-Plus in Exits and 'Success'". Techcrunch. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b "The simple formula for becoming a bitcoin millionaire, according to one of its innovators". Quartz. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Wences Casares: Reluctant serial entrepreneur". USA Today. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  5. ^ "WENCES CASARES: THE RELUCTANT SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR". OZY. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  6. ^ "An Argentine Serial Entrepreneur's $750 Million "Mistake"". Inc.com. 2011-12-14. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  7. ^ "Chilean startup focuses on games for social good". VentureBeat. 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  8. ^ "Vivendi Acquires Wanako Games". Gamasutra. 2007-02-20. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
  9. ^ "Behaviour closes Santiago studio". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  10. ^ "Lemon sold to LifeLock for $42.6 million". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
  11. ^ "The legal battle between LifeLock and Xapo just got more intense". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  12. ^ Swisher, Kara (13 March 2014). "Lemon Digital Wallet Founder Wenceslao Casares Gets $20 Million in Funding for Bitcoin Startup Xapo". Re/Code. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  13. ^ "How Bitcoin may have more impact than the internet". Business Insider. 2015-02-11. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
  14. ^ O'Kane, Sean (2014-08-29). "Meet the man building the Fort Knox of bitcoin". The Verge. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
  15. ^ "Bitcoin is 10 years old today - here's a look back at its crazy history (BITCOIN)". Business Insider. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Entrepreneur Wences Casares Believes in Bitcoin's Social Change Potential". Inno & Tech Today. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  17. ^ Matt Clinch (2015-01-22). "Bitcoin finds a place among the world's elite". Cnbc.com. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
  18. ^ "Las Majadas de Pirque: el capital social como modelo de negocios". Bloomberg. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  19. ^ "PAUTA Bloomberg capital social". Bloomberg. Retrieved 10 March 2019.

External links[edit]