Digital Asset Holdings Acqui-Hires Zurich-based Smart Contract Startup Elevence

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by Polina Chernykh · 3 min read
Digital Asset Holdings Acqui-Hires Zurich-based Smart Contract Startup Elevence
Photo: xfinance/Flickr

The New York-based financial technology startup has expanded its global footprint through the acquisition of European blockchain startup, Elevence Digital Finance.

Digital Asset Holdings, run by former JPMorgan executive Blythe Masters, has acquired Elevence Digital Finance, the Switzerland-based company that has created a language for executing financial agreements via distributed ledger.

With the opening of a new office in Zurich, Digital Asset Holdings will expand its current technical team . Elevence’s CEO, Vincent Peikert, will become Head of Product for Europe and Head of Digital Asset Switzerland, while its Chief Technology Officer, James Litsios, will join Digital Asset Holdings as Head of Development, Switzerland.

Launched in 2015, Elevence has developed a powerful code for financial companies to determine their rights and obligations, such as securities, cash and derivatives. The language defines the considerations between parties of the agreement and clarifies how these contractual relations can change in the future.

“With this acquisition, we will harness the power of Elevence’s technology and its team of talented individuals to enhance our offering for the financial services industry,” said Digital Asset Holding’s CEO, Blythe Masters. “The resulting Digital Asset platform is specifically designed to address financial services applications requiring automation, privacy and immutability.”

With the purchase deal, Digital Asset Holdings has also unveiled Digital Asset Modeling Language (DAML), the language developed for financial services as an alternative to Smart Contracts.

During the past few months the startup has been working on integrating Elevence’s technology into its software. It will improve the company’s existing system by offering a new way to prove updates to a distributed ledger while keeping data private. Parties of the transaction don’t need to reveal the details of the agreement to third parties, as it can be processed only by the relevant participants.

“Digital Asset is recognized as a leading provider of distributed ledger technology and has a remarkable team developing and deploying cutting-edge software for financial institutions,” said Vincent Peikert, CEO of Elevence. “This makes the company an ideal partner for Elevence, and joining forces will enable us to offer the broadest portfolio of solutions to the benefit of our customers.”

Digital Asset Holdings is focused on the development of blockchain instruments that will improve the financial services industry. The startup has already secured over $60 million in funding from such prominent investors as Goldman Sachs, IBM and JP Morgan.

Last month, it partnered with the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation to develop blockchain-based solutions for managing repurchase agreements among central banks, investment banks, hedge funds and other financial organizations. The DTCC’s president, Mike Bodson, noted that the deal will help to reduce risks and improve complex post-trade processes.

While blockchain is being widely used by financial services providers, consumer companies are starting to show their interest in the technology as well. A few days ago, vacation rental giant Airbnb unveiled that it hired bitcoin experts to investigate how to leverage the distributed ledger system. The company is reportedly planning to use the technology for sharing its user profiles with other firms.

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