Joseph Lubin, the founder of the 600-employee behemoth ConsenSys, which serves as a “venture production studio” for the Ethereum ecosystem, began his career working in robotics, machine vision, neural nets and software engineering. He then transitioned into finance, building trading systems, running a hedge fund and working for Goldman Sachs’ private wealth management division. He also detoured to Jamaica for a stint in music management.
After reading the Satoshi Nakamoto Bitcoin white paper, he felt blockchain technology, and its possibility for creating shared infrastructure, could serve as “an organizing principle for Earth, the world, the planet,” says Lubin, 53. A Toronto native, like his Ethereum cofounders Anthony Di Iorio and Vitalik Buterin, Lubin heard of Buterin’s November 2013 Ethereum white paper, and after he spoke with them on New Year’s Day 2014, he committed to support the project.
Rumored to be one of the top buyers in the Ethereum crowd-sale, Lubin, who had been funding ConsenSys with his stash of Bitcoins, says he began selling some of his Ethers last year to fund the firm’s development. He holds a majority stake in ConsenSys, which provides security audits, token launches and other services to traditional companies. It also helps launch crypto businesses, including Gnosis, Singular, adChain, Grid+ and BlockApps, some of which have spun out already. Venture capital, asset management and a ConsenSys-branded developer’s academy were recently launched.
Crypto-industry insiders believe he may be the single-largest holder of Ether, with valuations as high as $10 billion, but Lubin insists he’s been selling. For now, we’ll split the difference.