Wences Casares

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Wences Casares
Born Wenceslao Casares
(1974-02-26) February 26, 1974 (age 44)
Gobernador Costa, Chubut, Patagonia, Argentina
Residence Palo Alto, California, United States
Occupation CEO and Founder of Xapo

Wenceslao Casares (born February 26, 1974) is an Argentinian technology entrepreneur with global business experience specializing in technology and financial ventures. He is an advocate of bitcoin, which he believes will be bigger than the Internet.[1]


He is the founder and CEO of Xapo, a bitcoin wallet startup based in Palo Alto, California.[2] Xapo is said to be the largest custodian of bitcoin in the world, and is believed to hold as much as $10 billion of the cryptocurrency in underground vaults on five continents including in a former Swiss military bunker.[3][4] Xapo has raised $40 million from leading Silicon Valley venture capital firms.[5]

Casares sits on the board of PayPal and, as part of his non-profit activities, he serves on the board of Endeavor,[6][7] a non-profit organization that promotes high-impact entrepreneurship in emerging markets and that was instrumental in his early success. He also served on the board of Kiva,[8] [9]a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty worldwide.

Originally from a family of sheep ranchers in Patagonia, Argentina,[4] Casares launched that country's first Internet Service Provider, Internet Argentina S.A. in 1994, a company he would go on to sell in order to found the Argentine online brokerage Patagon in 1997. Patagon established itself as Latin America's leading comprehensive Internet financial services portal and expanded its online banking services to the United States, Spain, and Germany. Patagon was acquired by the Spanish bank, Banco Santander for $750 million which became Santander Online worldwide.[10]

In 2002, Casares founded Wanako Games, (later Behaviour Santiago), a videogame developer headquartered in New York City. [11] Wanako Games was especially known for its game Assault Heroes, and was acquired by Activision before being shut down in November 2017.[12][13]

Also in 2002, Casares, along with his partners, founded Banco Lemon, a retail bank for the underbanked in Brazil. Banco do Brasil, Brazil's largest bank, acquired Banco Lemon in June 2009.[14]

Casares was the founder and CEO of Lemon Wallet, a digital wallet platform. In 2013 the American firm LifeLock bought Lemon for about $43 million (US).[15] LifeLock and Casares later sued each other, with LifeLock claiming that Casares created Xapo using their resources.[16][17]

From 2004-2007, Casares and his family circumnavigated the globe aboard their sailing catamaran, Simpatica.[18]

He is a member of the 2017 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute. He is an elected member of the World Economic Forum's “Young Global Leaders” Class of 2011[19] and regularly attends the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland[20] and he is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization. He studied business administration for three years at the University of San Andrés, in Buenos Aires, and completed the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard University. He also spent one year as a Rotary Exchange Student in 1991-1992 in Washington, Pennsylvania in the USA.


  1. ^ Willis, Amy (2015-07-20). "Wences Casares on Bitcoin and Xapo". Econtalk.org. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  2. ^ Swisher, Kara (13 March 2014). "Lemon Digital Wallet Founder Wenceslao Casares Gets $20 Million in Funding for Bitcoin Startup Xapo". Re/Code. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "How Bitcoin may have more impact than the internet". Business Insider. 2015-02-11. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  4. ^ a b "The Wealthy Are Hoarding $10 Billion of Bitcoin in Bunkers". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2018-05-09. 
  5. ^ O'Kane, Sean (2014-08-29). "Meet the man building the Fort Knox of bitcoin". The Verge. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  6. ^ "Board & Team". Endeavor. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  7. ^ "PayPal Adds Xapo CEO Wences Casares to Board of Directors – CoinSpeaker". CoinSpeaker. 2016-01-14. Retrieved 2018-05-09. 
  8. ^ "Leadership". Kiva. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  9. ^ "PayPal Adds Xapo CEO Wences Casares to Board of Directors – CoinSpeaker". CoinSpeaker. 2016-01-14. Retrieved 2018-05-09. 
  10. ^ "An Argentine Serial Entrepreneur's $750 Million "Mistake"". Inc.com. 2011-12-14. Retrieved 2018-05-09. 
  11. ^ "Chilean startup focuses on games for social good". VentureBeat. 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2018-05-09. 
  12. ^ "Vivendi Acquires Wanako Games". Gamasutra. 2007-02-20. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  13. ^ "Behaviour closes Santiago studio". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 2018-05-09. 
  14. ^ "Banco do Brasil Acquires Banco Lemon Correspondent Branch Network". Business Wire. 2009-07-16. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  15. ^ "Lemon sold to LifeLock for $42.6 million". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  16. ^ "The legal battle between LifeLock and Xapo just got more intense". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-05-09. 
  17. ^ "Xapo's Wences Casares Takes Legal Action Against LifeLock". CoinDesk. 2015-07-27. Retrieved 2018-05-09. 
  18. ^ "Simpatica Log Book". Simpaticasail.com. 2007-02-26. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  19. ^ "Young Global Leaders | World Economic Forum". Weforum.org. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  20. ^ Matt Clinch (2015-01-22). "Bitcoin finds a place among the world's elite". Cnbc.com. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 

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