Wells Fargo Loses Blockchain Visionary to Rival IBM

Jesse Lund, senior vice president and head of Innovation Labs at Wells Fargo, is leaving the company by the end of this month for IBM, to focus on the development and commercialization of Blockchain technology.

At IBM, Lund will operate as the vice president of Blockchain market development and global financial services departments, overseeing the technology giant’s Blockchain solutions and other financial services being offered to the public.

In August of 2016, Cointelegraph reported that IBM was planning to launch one of the largest Blockchain implementations in the world. Jerry Cuomo, vice president of Blockchain Technologies, said in the interview:

“I think the Blockchain that we are talking about will have to have special things like regulatory compliance but Blockchains will need to interoperate and the interoperability standards are going to be important as we go further down the road.”

Why IBM over Wells Fargo?

Since Cuomo’s interview with CT, IBM has made significant progress in the Blockchain market, securing partnerships with major financial institutions such as the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) to settle and facilitate complex financial operations.

During his stay at IBM, the former Wells Fargo executive will continue the development of IBM’s Blockchain-based platforms and solutions to solidify the position of IBM at the forefront of Blockchain innovation. The NY Post confirmed with IBM that Lund will also contribute to the Hyperledger, which IBM is a member of.

Within the organization, which runs similarly to a consortium, Lund is expected to collaborate with other member banks and corporations such as JP Morgan, Accenture, Deutsche Bank and Intel to build platforms that will act as an industry-standard for Blockchain enthusiasts.

Is Wells Fargo giving up on Blockchain?

Upon the departure of Lund, Wells Fargo will still continue to examine use cases of Blockchain technology and lead various projects with its resources and developers from the Innovation Lab. Spokesperson Ann Wasik stated that the bank will explore emerging technologies and innovative concepts to offer more efficient services to its global consumer base.

Wells Fargo is a member bank of R3CEV, a consortium led by major banks and financial institutions to implement Blockchain technology. An internal document leaked by an insider shared by Epiphyte Corporation CEO Edan Yago revealed that Wells Fargo contributed $2.5 mln to the latest funding round of R3.

Throughout 2017, Wells Fargo will collaborate with the R3 consortium and its member banks to pursue Blockchain projects.