Wall Street Veteran, Former Nike CIO Join Bitcoin Startups

Factom, an open source platform providing a data layer for the Bitcoin blockchain, has hired former Morgan Stanley investment manager Jacob Dienelt as its head treasurer, the company announced on Monday.

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Wall Street Veteran, Former Nike CIO Join Bitcoin Startups

Factom, an open source platform providing a data layer for the Bitcoin blockchain, has hired former Morgan Stanley investment manager Jacob Dienelt as its head treasurer, the company announced on Monday.

Welcome to Factom

The company has hired Dienelt as part of its focus on bitcoin asset management for the ongoing sale of its software token, dubbed Factoid.

Dienelt, who previously managed a Future Specialists desk at Morgan Stanley's private wealth business for almost a decade, will bring its expertise and knowledge in wealth management and financial services.

"After two years traveling to Bitcoin conferences, mining, and running a paper wallet company, I'm glad to have found a home in the space," Dienelt said.

"I spent almost 10 years at Morgan Stanley, and I'll miss my friends and clients dearly. I just couldn't miss an opportunity to help shape such an important ecosystem as it develops. I'm very excited to be working with [founders] Paul, David, Peter, and the rest of the team."

Dienelt, who co-founded the paper bitcoin wallet company Lazzerbee while working at Morgan Stanley, is the latest Wall Street veteran to join the burgeoning bitcoin startup scene.

Earlier this year, notorious Blythe Masters of JP Morgan Chase & Co., left her senior executive position at the leading financial services firm to become the CEO of Digital Assets Holdings, a startup that is looking to provide financial institutions with a trading platform for digital currencies and digitalized assets. The service was expected to launch on March 11.

In the same line, Paul Camp, former head of JP Morgan Chase's global transaction services business, joined Circle Internet Financial as corporate treasurer, executive vice president of financial operations, and CFO, in December 2014.

"As the world's largest companies and institutions begin adopting blockchain technology, it naturally follows that their top people will get involved in projects such as Factom in order to be leaders in that transition," said David Johnston, chairman of the board with Factom.

While an increasing number of bankers are ditching Wall Street for the thriving bitcoin industry, some of the U.S.’s biggest proprietary traders and investors are starting to dip their toes into bitcoin.

DRW Holdings LLC, a high-frequency trading firm based in Chicago, told the Wall Street Journal last Sunday that its subsidiary, Cumberland Mining & Materials LLC, has "begun to experiment with cryptocurrency trading."

KCG Holdings Inc., a New Jersey-based financial services firm, was among the companies that have offered bids to buy shares of Barry Silbert's Bitcoin Investment Trust.

Spokeswoman Sophie Sohn said that along with her firm's involvement in the trust, KCG is "actively exploring various opportunities related to" bitcoin.

The Wall Street Bitcoin Alliance, a trade advocacy group that launched on March 12, is looking to promote the use of bitcoin and blockchain technology to financial professionals and "bridge the gap between the emerging world of digital currencies and Wall Street."

Founder and Executive Director, Ron Quaranta, believes that these "powerful technological advances" will l be the foundation of what he calls the new "Finance 2.0 era."

New President of Bitreserve

Anthony Watson, former CIO of Nike and Fortune's "40 Under 40" alum, is joining Bitreserve as president and COO, reported the media outlet.

Bitreserve is a cloud-based financial platform to access, hold and move any currency and commodity, that allows users to hold bitcoins denominated as real-world value, according to the company's website. 

"What I think is so revolutionary here is that it can allow you to trade in any commodity," said Watson. "Right now it’s metals, but it could be cocoa beans. The broader vision is much bigger than digital currencies."

He continued:

"I wanted to do something that is valuable for people broadly, not just in one industry. And what Bitreserve is looking to achieve really democratizes finance. It’s going to help people all over the world. The financial system is inherently unfair—it’s always the richest who have access, and the poorest don’t have access, or when they do, they have to pay astronomical rates."

Anthony Watson, former CIO of Nike


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