Wences Casares is a technology entrepreneur and advocate of the bitcoin revolution, with global business experience specializing in technology and financial ventures. Casares has said he believes that bitcoin will be bigger than the internet.
He is also founder and CEO of Xapo, a bitcoin wallet and vault startup based in Palo Alto, California. Xapo is said to be the largest custodian of bitcoin in the world. In July 2014, Xapo raised $20 million, bringing its total backing to $40 million.
Originally from 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, working with partner Meyer Malka. With Casares serving as Chairman and CEO, Patagon established itself as Latin America's first 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 in 2000.
Casares founded Wanako Games, a videogame developer headquartered in New York City with development based out of Santiago, Chile. Wanako Games developed the award winning game Assault Heroes honored as "Game of the Year" for Microsoft Xbox Live in 2006, and was acquired by Activision.
In 2002 Casares along with his partners founded Banco Lemon, a retail bank for the underbanked in Brazil. Banco do Brasil, Brazil's largest bank, acquired Banco Lemon in June 2009.
Casares was the founder and CEO of Lemon, a digital wallet platform. In 2013 the American firm LifeLock bought Lemon for about $43 million (US).
Casares is an elected member of the World Economic Forum's “Young Global Leaders of” Class of 2011 and regularly attends the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. He is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization and was selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur by Endeavor, an organization of which he later became a board member. Casares served on the board of the Viva Trust and founded the Fundación Síntesis. Casares 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, PA. in the USA.
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