Posted on

Tether Hires Former Bank Analyst as Chief Compliance Officer

Tether, the company behind the controversial, dollar-tied “stablecoin” known as USDT, has hired a chief compliance officer from the eighth-largest bank in North America.

Leonard Real is a former anti-money laundering (AML) analyst for the Bank of Montreal, where he worked for four years in three different positions.

The hiring announcement comes less than a month after Tether released the results of a review by Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan, LLP which stated the law firm was “confident” the USDT token is fully backed by dollar reserves.

That review, which itself came months after the relationship between Tether and auditing firm Friedman “dissolved,” largely failed to assuage critics, who assert that the token isn’t fully backed and has been used as a tool to inflate cryptocurrency prices.

In a statement, Real said that he looks forward to “helping showcase Tether’s commitment to transparency and regulatory compliance within the blockchain and cryptocurrency space.”

“As a longtime advocate of blockchain technology and the integration of cryptocurrencies into the mainstream, I am looking forward to putting my experience in AML and regulatory compliance in traditional financial institutions to use, to ensure that the Tether project can continue its work disrupting traditional industries,” he went on to say.

Tether has overlapping management and ownership with the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, which earlier this year tapped a former Bank of Montreal executive to serve as its chief compliance officer.

As reported at the time by Crowdfund Insider, Bitfinex hired former BMO director of AML Peter Warrack in May.

Bank of Montreal image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Posted on

Mastercard Is Hiring More Blockchain Developers

Payment giant Mastercard announced Thursday that it was hiring 175 new technology developers, including blockchain specialists.

The developers will work out of Mastercard’s office in Leopardstown, Ireland, where the firm’s research and development arm, Mastercard Labs, is headquartered. The new hires will work on creating more efficient payment systems, according to a press release.

Sonya Geelon, Mastercard Ireland’s country manager, said the company is working on expanding access to financial services.

She added in a statement:

“We’re driving projects that promote financial inclusion at home and abroad, and are working to provide consumers, businesses and governments with the most innovative, safe and secure ways to pay.”

It’s a notable development, given that Mastercard has been eyeing applications of blockchain to its services for some time now.

The company released a set of experimental blockchain-based APIs in 2016, telling CoinDesk that its goal was to “give developers the chance to work on emerging technologies that haven’t yet been commercialized by us.” Last October, the firm announced that it would use these programs to facilitate business-to-business transactions.

Mastercard’s blockchain ambitions are also illustrated by its efforts to obtain patent related to the tech.

Last September a filing described a blockchain system recording “purchase orders, invoices [and] transaction data.” Two months, later another Mastercard application described blockchain-based solutions aimed at speeding up transaction settlement times.

Mastercard image via Shutterstock.

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Posted on

Veteran Observer Tech Reporter Joins CoinDesk Editorial Team

Observer Media tech reporter Brady Dale has joined CoinDesk Inc., the leading digital media, events and information services company for the blockchain industry.

The newest addition to CoinDesk’s New York-based editorial team, Dale has previously covered new technologies at leading media brands including Fortune, Technical.ly and the Observer, where he emerged as an early voice in covering bitcoin and other crypto assets.

Dale’s hiring comes amid a wave of growth for CoinDesk (founded in 2013), that has seen it become one of the top websites globally amidst spiking interest in distributed ledger and blockchain-based innovations.

“Tech journalism led me to innovations at the edge, but I’m confident cryptocurrency and blockchain are here to stay,” Dale said.

At CoinDesk, Dale will focus on covering distributed technologies, initial coin offerings and other aspects of the emerging token economy.

Dale’s hiring follows the addition of other leading sector journalists to the CoinDesk team, including PaymentsSource veteran Bailey Reutzel as U.S. editor and former American Banker editor-in-chief Marc Hochstein as managing editor.

Looking ahead to 2017, CoinDesk is now seeking applications for full-time journalists in Europe and abroad.

The leader in blockchain news, events and information, CoinDesk has been chronicling the technology since 2013. Cited by leading publications and trusted by businesses the world over, CoinDesk’s industry-leading, independent coverage is viewed by millions of readers monthly. Learn more about our brand here.

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.

Posted on

Accenture Announces New Head of Blockchain Innovation

Global professional services giant Accenture has announced a new executive hiring as part of its focus on developing cross-industry blockchain initiatives.

The new team member, Iliana Oris Valiente, will serve as managing director and global blockchain innovation lead for Accenture’s emerging technology group, which develops prototypes and cutting-edge solutions aimed ultimately to help organizations maximize their performance.

Valiente, who recently founded the ColliderX blockchain R&D hub, will oversee the growth of the company’s blockchain capabilities, as well as its blockchain talent pool. Based in Accenture’s blockchain practice in Canada, she will also serve as blockchain advisor to the firm’s strategic growth initiatives steering committee.

Valiente brings to Accenture notable experience in the enterprise blockchain field, having been a co-founder of Deloitte’s Rubix blockchain initiative and being instrumental in driving that firm’s move into distributed ledger consulting and development before her departure in May.

Simon Whitehouse, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s global blockchain practice, described why Valiente was the firm’s choice for the role, saying:

“Her knowledge, leadership and ability to act as a conduit between the blockchain developer community and business will be a strong asset to our clients and leadership as we help a range of industries leverage distributed ledger technology.”

Accenture building image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

Prime Minister's Son to Head Barbados Bitcoin Startup

Bitt, the blockchain payments startup backed by Overstock’s Medici Ventures, has announced the hiring of a new chief executive officer.

The new CEO, Rawdon Adams, takes the helm of the Barbados-based startup just months after it unveiled an ambitious plan to develop a pan-Caribbean settlement network built with blockchain tech. The plan, Bitt said in May, is to create a way to better connect a region with more than a dozen governments, each with their own currency systems.

The startup has also worked with the Central Bank of Barbados on pilot blockchain initiatives.

The appointment of Adams adds heft to the startup’s regional plans. Rawdon is the son of Tom Adams, who served as the country’s prime minister between 1976 and 1985. Tom Adams, in turn, was the son of Sir Grantley Herbert Adams, the first and only prime minister of the former West Indies Federation.

According to LinkedIn, Rawdon previously worked as an analyst for GE Medical Systems and founded market arbitrage software startup ArbMaker in 2008.

Jonathan Johnson, president of Medici Ventures, said in a statement:

“Rawdon is the perfect leader to grow and scale Bitt to the next level and bring to fruition Bitt’s initial vision in the Caribbean.”

Overstock, through Medici, invested $4 million in Bitt in April of last year.

Tropical beach image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at [email protected].