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Casares in 2015
February 26, 1974
Gobernador Costa, Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina
|Residence||Palo Alto, California, United States|
|Occupation||CEO and Founder of Xapo|
Wenceslao Casares (born February 26, 1974) is an Argentinian technology entrepreneur with global business experience specializing in technology and financial ventures. He is an advocate of bitcoin, which he believes will be bigger than the Internet.
Casares is the founder and CEO of Xapo, a bitcoin wallet startup based in Palo Alto, California. 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. Xapo has raised $40 million from leading Silicon Valley venture capital firms.
Casares sits on the board of PayPal and, as part of his non-profit activities, he serves on the board of Endeavor, a non-profit organization that promotes high-impact entrepreneurship in emerging markets and that was instrumental in his early success. He also served on the board of Kiva, a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty worldwide.
Originally from a family of sheep ranchers in Patagonia, Argentina, Casares launched that country's first Internet Service Provider, Internet Argentina S.A. in 1994, a company he would go on to sell in order to found the 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 which became Santander Online worldwide.
In 2002, Casares founded Wanako Games, (later Behaviour Santiago), a videogame developer headquartered in New York City. Wanako Games was especially known for its game Assault Heroes, and was acquired by Activision before being shut down in November 2017.
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). LifeLock and Casares later sued each other, with LifeLock claiming that Casares created Xapo using their resources.
From 2004-2007, Casares and his family circumnavigated the globe aboard their sailing catamaran, Simpatica.
He is a member of the 2017 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within 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 and he is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization. He studied business administration for three years at the University of San Andrés, in Buenos Aires, and completed the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard University. He also spent one year as a Rotary Exchange Student in 1991-1992 in Washington, Pennsylvania in the USA.
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