DCG hires chief financial officer as it ramps up M&A activity

Crypto investment firm Digital Currency Group has hired a veteran of the financial services world as its first-ever chief financial officer.

The firm said Tuesday that it hired Michael Kraines from Trading Technologies. Kraines, whose career on Wall Street includes more than 25 years in investment banking at Sandler O'Neill + Partners and Wasserstein Perella & Co, will lead DCG's capital markets activity, ranging from raises to mergers and acquisitions. 

“Given its leading role in the development of valuable crypto offerings across the financial services ecosystem, I am delighted to join DCG to help accelerate its growth and positive impact on the industry," Kraines said in a press statement. "I also look forward to increasing the opportunity for DCG to foster a deeper series of conversations regarding the future of crypto across the institutional community."

Kraines left Chicago-based Trading Technologies last month, shortly after its CEO, Rick Lane, announced his departure. The firm was reportedly in talks to be acquired by investment bank Goldman Sachs late last year before the prospective deal ultimately fell through. Kraines is also a board member at YCharts and crypto exchange CoinFLEX.

Based in Connecticut, DCG is the parent company of investment company Grayscale, trading firm Genesis Global Trading, and media outlet CoinDesk. 

DCG's hire of a chief financial officer comes amid an especially active period for crypto M&A. On Monday, payments giant PayPal confirmed it had acquired custodial services firm Curv in a deal reportedly valued at approximately $200 million. Earlier in the year, Coinbase, which could go public this spring at a near-$100 billion valuation, announced its acquisition of Bison Trails. 

Eric Risley, managing partner for Architect Partners, expects M&A activity will continue to grow in 2021, noting in an email to The Block that "the first two months suggests we're on track to double transaction volume."

Last year, DCG made headlines for two acquisitions after it bought custodial service  Vo1t and crypto exchange Luno.

"We will continue to be opportunistic and expect to ramp up our M&A activities at both the DCG and subsidiary level," a DCG spokesperson told The Block.