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Cardone backs blockchain company with $4M crypto investment

Veronica Brezina



Gary Cardone, former CEO and co-founder of Chargeback911. Photo provided by Omni Public.

Local fintech serial entrepreneur Gary Cardone is breaking into the blockchain space through his latest venture. 

Cardone, the co-founder and former CEO of Clearwater-based fraud mitigation company Chargeback911, has recently injected $4 million into Node40, a New York-based company known for its suite of tools that manage blockchain nodes. 

“[Last year] on a Saturday afternoon, I moved $3.5 million from five digital institutions to Node40,” Cardone said.

“Two minutes later, the CEO said they received the funds. It cost me $12 to move $3.5 million of cryptocurrency with zero issues,” he said, noting the transaction took place during the time cryptocurrency lending giant Celsius was experiencing a market downturn and paused all withdrawals, swaps and transfers between accounts.

Cardone, who has funded and helped create multiple companies over three decades, said he will continue investing in Node40 and other blockchain companies through his new venture capital firm Card1Ventures. 

“Many entrepreneurs tend to be hyper-focused on one area. I like finding companies addressing issues that an entire industry is facing, not just one type of business. I’m not an expert about the tech behind blockchain, so I surrounded myself with technologists and started studying the market two and a half years ago,” Cardone said, recalling his initial interest.’

“The blockchain market is absolutely staggering. When markets are going through a fundamental structural change due to tech or regulations, or this case both along with the commercialization of products, that’s the type of environment where you can build businesses that solve problems.” 

Behind the deal 

Cardone and Node40 CEO Perry Woodin became acquainted last year after Cardone heard that local investors were eyeing the company. 

He connected with Woodin via LinkedIn, inviting Woodin to visit and stay at his Tierra Verde estate. Over a two-week period with Woodin staying at Cardone’s home, the duo built a trusted relationship, leading to the execution of an agreement. 

Cardone promised to funnel $4 million in exchange for control of the commercialization of Node40’s business-to-business model, while Woodin’s team would remain fully focused on creating the tech behind the product. 

“I don’t bet on companies. I want to be involved. I don’t like making debts like angel investment companies; I would become another number on the board,” Cardone said, adding that he will continue to invest in Node40.

“I’ve created a lot of companies over 35 years, and I’ve made lots of mistakes – underestimating values, not exiting correctly and issues with compliance. I want to correct those mistakes and bring my commercial knowledge.” 

“Their [Card1Ventures] investment and expertise in disruptive technologies will greatly benefit our company’s growth and help us further solidify our position as a leader in the blockchain infrastructure space,” Woodin said in a prepared statement. 

Cardone expects the 40-plus Node40 team to relocate from New York to Tampa Bay. 

“You have Cathie Wood [founder of ARK Invest], Blockspaces, KnowBe4 and FIS that are all based here. This is the place to be,” Cardone said. 

Cardone said he can visualize Node40 following a similar growth journey as Chargebacks 911, which Cardone founded with his former wife, Monica Eaton Cardone, who currently runs the company. 

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