Columbia University graduates build $100 million blockchain business

22 May, 2018
by Conor Maloney
Columbia University graduates build $100 million blockchain business

Three recent graduates from Columbia University have established a blockchain consultancy business worth $100 million working with Chinese projects to connect them to overseas crypto exchanges and investors.

Minhui Chen, a 2015 graduate and former Ernst & Young consultant, saw an opportunity in the difficulty faced by Chinese blockchain and crypto projects following the Chinese government's bans on ICOs last year. The ban made it difficult for new projects to fundraise, and Medill News Service quotes Chen as saying:

“We saw a huge demand for consulting business at that time. There were plenty of good Chinese projects with good technologies but lacked overseas experience.”

Chen and two of his friends from college started Global Blockchain Innovative Capita (GBIC), opening u projects to investors and expansion while helping them build token communities. One blockchain team consisted of highly qualified staff with PhDs, but they couldn't speak English - GBIC devised their ICO plan and built connections as well s sourcing interpreters for their expos. The team executed an ICO and the token increased in value thirty-fold.

GBIC now has 22 staff members in New York, Shanghai, and Korea, including MIT and Columbia grads and Wall Street traders.

Chen says “We can speak good Chinese and have received education in the U.S., which makes us easily connect people from these two countries together.”

A new company emerged from GBIC as a separate entity called Block 72 and is now worth $50 million after splitting to focus on independent consultancy, leaving the investment focus to GBIC. The company was founded at an opportune time in 2017 as the market began to rapidly take off. Chen states that some of the staff quit jobs paying $400,000 a year to join GBIC, which now has $50 million assets under management.

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