Ethereum Network co-founder Anthony Di Iorio said he was leaving the cryptocurrency world, in part because of concerns for his personal safety.
The 48-year-old has had a security team since 2017, with guards traveling with him or meeting him wherever he goes, according to reports.
He plans to sell Decentral Inc – an innovation center and software development company based in Toronto – in the coming weeks. The company focuses on decentralized technologies and is the maker of Jaxx, a wallet for digital assets with around one million customers this year.
Mr. Di Iorio said Bloomberg that he plans to focus on philanthropy and other projects unrelated to crypto. He added that he does not plan to fund any additional blockchain projects and that he plans to cut his connections with other startups he is currently working with.
“He has a risk profile that I’m not too excited about,” said Mr. Di Iorio. He chose not to reveal his crypto holdings and net worth, the point of sale reported. “I don’t necessarily feel safe in this space. If I focused on bigger issues I think I would be safer.
He co-founded Etherum in 2013, and the network has become the platform with many of the most interesting crypto projects. This has been particularly the case in decentralized finance, an area where people can borrow, trade and lend without having to rely on banks to interact. The network’s native Ether token has a market value of around $ 225 billion.
The Canadian gained notoriety when he bought the largest and one of the most expensive condos in the country by partially paying for it with digital money. The three-story penthouse at the St Regis Residences Toronto – the former Trump International Hotel & Tower – located in the downtown business district cost him C $ 28 million ($ 22 million).
In recent years, Mr. Di Iorio has been active in venture capital investment and as a startup advisor. He was also chief digital officer at the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Forbes estimated his net worth was around $ 1 billion in February 2018. Since then, the value of Aether has more than doubled.
Mr. Di Iorio said Bloomberg that he has spoken to potential investors for Decentral Inc and that he believes the startup will be valued at “hundreds of millions” of dollars.
He expects to sell the business not for crypto but for fiat or equity in a separate company.
Fiat money is currency that has been established as money, often by regulations instituted by governments.
“I want to branch out into not being a crypto guy, but being a guy who tackles complex issues,” he told the outlet.
It is part of Project Arrow, which builds an emission-free vehicle and is run by a high school friend of Mr. Di Iorio. He is also a consultant for a Paraguayan senator.
“I will integrate crypto when needed, but often I don’t,” he said. “It’s really a small percentage of what the world needs.”
He also said CoinDesk: “I’m a crypto guy and I don’t want to be known as a crypto person. I want to be known as a problem solver.