The Hustle

Crypto custodians: Inside the world of the premiere offshore crypto bank Xapo

These days, being a billionaire crypto-owner puts a target on your back, as hackers sniff out investors with large amounts of coin. But inside a damp swiss mountainside sits Xapo: a crypto fortress run by an Argentinian fintech entrepreneur with...


May 11, 2018

These days, being a billionaire crypto-owner puts a target on your back, as hackers sniff out investors with large amounts of coin.

But inside a damp swiss mountainside sits Xapo: a crypto fortress run by an Argentinian fintech entrepreneur with an affinity for Bond Villain lair aesthetics — and a straight up obsession with Bitcoin.

Past the guards, retina scanners, and yards of thick concrete corridors, you’ll find the “cold rooms” full of encrypted computer servers — connected to offline devices to keep hackers from performing their wizardry.

Protector of all things coin

Xapo is the creation of Wences Casares, AKA, the “patient zero” of Bitcoin around Silicon Valley elite.

Casares made millions on a series of fintech startups, like Patagon, a Latin American financial-services website sold for $529m in 2000. 

Since then, he’s convinced SV bigwigs (like LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman) to invest millions in Xapo.

And now, the 4-year-old company is starting to convert on a massive scale.

A whole lotta nothing

Xapo is rumored to hold about $10B in Bitcoin (that’s 7% of the world’s bitcoin supply for those of you keeping score at home).

Xapo has built a network of storage vaults across 5 continents that are stocked to the nines in Bitcoin — and yes, just Bitcoin. Because according to Casares, Bitcoin and only Bitcoin will reign supreme as the future of currency.

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