FORTUNE -- Not everyone was surprised last night when documents leaked about a pending collapse at Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox.
Last week, I got a tip that SecondMarket was planning to launch what would be the first-ever New York Bitcoin exchange. SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert declined to comment, except to say that he would be ready to talk after the company's March board meeting. It seemed that plans still needed to be formally approved by the company's board of directors.
Then, on Sunday night, Silbert emailed to suggest we talk on Monday. When we connected at 2pm yesterday afternoon, he told me that the announcement was being accelerated due to some events outside of his control. He declined to provide further information, except about his own company's plans. Our only restriction on publishing the story was that the outside event first had to become public (he expected it to happen within 48 hours) and that the NY Times also had to hit publish on their own piece (seems they had learned about SecondMarket's plans shortly before I had, and had made a similar arrangement).
News of the Mt. Gox troubles broke at around 10pm last night, courtesy of confidential documents posted by Bitcoin blogger and entrepreneur Ryan Selkis. The NY Times would publish shortly after midnight -- in a piece that refers to Selkis by his Randian pseudonym, Ryan Galt -- and we were up a few hours later.
What all of this means, of course, is the SecondMarket was aware of at least something amiss at Mt. Gox by Sunday evening. It's unclear if the company only suspected trouble, or if it already had a copy of (and had authenticated) the "crisis strategy" documents Selkis published.
In a subsequent interview this morning, Silbert declined to discuss when he first heard about the Gox issues or his original source of information. What he did say, however, was that he immediately told all SecondMarket employees that they were prohibited from buying or selling any Bitcoin until further say-so. He also put a hold on any incoming participation in the company's Bitcoin Investment Trust, which effectively works as a currency ETF for the cryptocurrency.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that SecondMarket did anything untoward here. In fact, it appears to have acted ethically. But this experience illustrates how word of the Mt. Gox collapse had already begun to circulate nearly an entire day before it became public, and that it's entirely possible that certain people did, indeed, trade on that information. If this industry wants to survive its infancy, it is going to need regulation very, very soon.
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As Mt. Gox collapses, SecondMarket prepares to launch a Bitcoin exchange in New York.
FORTUNE -- SecondMarket is spinning out its Bitcoin activities into a stand-alone company that eventually will include a New York-based exchange for the cryptocurrency, Fortune has learned. The move comes just as news is breaking that one of the world's most popular Bitcoin exchanges, Mount Gox, may be shutting down after a hack that has cost its MOREDan Primack - Feb 25, 2014 6:02 AM ET
Multi-billion dollar investment manager dives into Bitcoin craze.
FORTUNE -- In September we discussed how SecondMarket had launched the first U.S.-based investment vehicle dedicated exclusively to Bitcoin, called The Bitcoin Investment Trust (beating out the Winklevii, who remain stuck in regulatory limbo). Now comes word that Fortress Investment Group (FIG) is prepping its own Bitcoin fund, which likely will be much larger than the SecondMarket offering.
Details remain scarce, although there are MOREDan Primack - Dec 31, 2013 12:14 PM ET
SecondMarket launching first U.S.-based investment vehicle exclusively devoted to Bitcoin.
FORTUNE -- Bitcoin has gotten all sorts of attention this year, both from the media and regulators. For investors, however, it has often proven difficult to purchase meaningful amounts of the crypto-currency, let alone to safely store it. SecondMarket is planning to offer a solution, beginning Thursday morning.
The New York-based firm is launching the first U.S.-based investment vehicle dedicated exclusively to Bitcoin, MOREDan Primack - Sep 25, 2013 8:00 PM ET
General solicitation is coming, and that means big things for SecondMarket.
FORTUNE -- The Securities & Exchange Commission this morning will vote on a proposed rule that would permit general solicitation by private-market issuers, including private equity funds. And if they approve the rule, expect SecondMarket to flip the switch on a stealthy new general solicitation platform that would include investor accreditation verification solutions.
For the uninitiated, private equity funds currently are not MOREDan Primack - Jul 10, 2013 10:17 AM ET
Looking at the past 6 months of private secondary activity.
FORTUNE -- Private secondary trading platform SecondMarket this morning released data for the first six months of 2012. Some highlights:
* Average company trading on SecondMarket was 7 year-old, had 200 employees and a private market cap of $329 million.
* Nearly half of the liquidity events came from gaming companies, followed by consumer web (21.5%), education (15.3%) and financial services (10.9%). Looks MOREDan Primack - Aug 6, 2012 10:07 AM ET
With Facebook going public, the private secondary markets move on.
With the secondary private markets about to lose their cash cow, I was curious as to what companies might be able to (partially) fill the void. So I rang up SecondMarket, which last Friday laid off around 10% of its 150-person workforce in preparation of the Facebook IPO. The exchange wouldn't divulge trading data on private companies, but did provide a MOREDan Primack - Apr 3, 2012 9:26 AM ET
Groupon's private pricing data will remain private.
SecondMarket has a standard policy about disclosing the prices at which companies trade on its private market exchange: They remain private under wraps until after the company in question goes public.
For example, when LinkedIn (LNKD) went public earlier this year, SecondMarket immediately disclosed data from the prior 12 months of private trading activity in LinkedIn shares.
We had expected to see the same thing today for Groupon MOREDan Primack - Nov 4, 2011 10:20 AM ET
New details on Groupon's unlikely IPO partner.
Private stock exchange SecondMarket is selling shares in the upcoming Groupon IPO to its clients, according to Reuters.
The story says that a SecondMarket executive recently emailed "potential investors... who previously traded through the firm to see if they were interested in buying Groupon shares... SecondMarket will be working with Morgan Stanley, one of the top underwriters on the Groupon IPO, as a member of the MOREDan Primack - Nov 1, 2011 12:09 PM ET
Private companies may be allowed to stay private longer.
Congress may soon change the law that is compelling Facebook to go public in early 2012, Fortune has learned.
Reps. David Schweikert (R-AZ) and Jim Himes (D-CT) are among those who plan to introduce a bill that would amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. According to a draft copy, it would:
1. Expand the so-called "500 shareholder rule" to 1,000 shareholders. This rule currently MOREDan Primack - Jun 14, 2011 6:26 AM ET
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