Codex, a cryptocurrency and decentralized title registry for the $2 trillion arts and collectibles asset class, today announced it received a $5 million USD investment from Pantera Capital, an investment firm focused on blockchain technologies. The funds are earmarked for protocol development and supporting participants in building applications on Codex.
Panera Capitalco-CIO Joey Krug has also joined Codex as a blockchain technology and strategic advisor.
“Codex is incredibly excited to receive strategic support and financial backing from Joey and the team at Pantera Capital, one of the most prominent funds in the blockchain space,” Codex CEO Mark Lurie said. “Their extensive knowledge of the blockchain space will be invaluable as we work alongside the Codex Consortium to place provenance on the blockchain and finally provide a title registry for the arts and collectibles asset class. The ability to prove ownership, without compromising the privacy demanded by fine art collectors, will result in a better, fairer, and bigger market for all participants.”
Pantera Capital exclusively focuses on investing in blockchain technologies and is one of the largest institutional owners of cryptocurrencies. The Pantera team draws upon its experience in both traditional finance and emergent blockchain technology, and strong relationships with some of the most promising projects and entrepreneurs in the space, to develop highly effective investment strategies. Additionally, Krug’s position as a Codex advisor will bring industry-specific value-add resources to the project as it develops its go-to-market strategy.
“We are thrilled with the addition of Codex to our portfolio companies,” Mr. Krug said. “As blockchain technology and digital currencies establish their role in the global economy over the next several years, our mission is to act as the catalyst for widespread blockchain adoption and innovation.
“We believe in Codex’s vision and its ability to radically transform how business is done in the fine arts and collectibles industry. We have also seen first hand the amount of new cryptowealthy investors looking to diversify and store value. Through Codex, cryptoinvestors will have the ability to leverage the art and collectibles asset class for this purpose.”
In a separate announcement, blockchain experts Augur advisor Abe Othman, Basecoin founder and former Google software engineer Nader Al-Naji, and blockchain and crypto communications expert David Wachsman have joined Codex’s Board of Advisors alongside Mr. Krug. Mr. Othman will serve as a blockchain technology and incentive systems advisor to Codex, Mr. Al-Naji will advise the team on crypto macroeconomics, while Mr. Wachsman will guide the company’s long-term communications strategy.
Mr. Othman is an advisor for Augur, an open source, decentralized, peer-to-peer prediction market platform built on Ethereum, and other startups such as Homebase and STOX. He is a visiting scholar in the Operations, Information and Decisions Department of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he builds computational engines. Mr. Othman received his PhD in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and his AB in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University. In 2015, he was inducted into the Forbes 30 Under 30 in the energy industry for co-founding Building Robotics, a software-based system to help make buildings more energy efficient.
Mr. Nader Al-Naji is the founder of Basecoin, a stable cryptocurrency running on a rules-based monetary policy to achieve a price stability mandate. He has a background in finance and software engineering and previously worked at D. E. Shaw & Co. in equities high-frequency trading and at Google. Mr. Al-Naji graduated summa cum laude in Computer Science from Princeton University with a certificate in Applied Mathematics.
Mr. Wachsman is the Founder and CEO of Wachsman, a relations firm specializing in digital currency and blockchain-based companies. Wachsman provides media relations, strategic communications, brand development, and corporate advisory services to companies in the financial technology, digital currency, and crypto-asset sectors. Wachsman represents prominent clients in the blockchain space, such as the Crypto Valley Association; Dash; Lisk; IOHK, the developers of Cardano; and tZERO.
Major stakeholders have embraced the Codex Protocol and its first application, Biddable, which enables holders of cryptocurrency to bid in auctions and increase privacy and access for all bidders through a title-escrow system. The Codex Consortium’s spectrum of industry partners—including collectors, auctioneers, dealers, museums, and other vetted organizations—recognizes the clear solutions to common challenges in the auction markets. The Consortium will adopt the protocol and accept cryptocurrencies exclusively through Codex from day one. Furthermore, the Codex Protocol is open source, allowing third party players in the A&C ecosystem, such as art insurers, collateralized lenders, and art logistics providers, to build applications and utilize the title system.