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Chainalysis Appoints Former FinCen Officer as Technical Counsel

Blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis has appointed former FinCen and U.S. DoJ official Michael Mosier as its new Chief Technical Counsel.

Blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis has hired a former official from the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Department of Justice as Chief Technical Counsel, according to a press release published on June 26

Chainalysis has appointed Michael Mosier as its new Chief Technical Counsel. Mosier will now be responsible for legal expertise of Chainalysis products such as data privacy and global anti-money laundering, sanctions, policy, and government issues.

At Chainalysis, Mosier will work closely with Jesse Spiro, Global Head of Policy, who joined the firm from financial information services firm Refinitiv and Kristofer Doucette, Vice President of Government Affairs, who previously served at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in financial intelligence. Commenting on the appointment, Mosier said:

“I am thrilled to join the incredible team at Chainalysis as the Chief Technical Counsel. Having worked across emerging technology, financial integrity, and data privacy matters, the opportunity to bring technical-legal solutions to market to help advance Chainalysis’s mission to build trust in blockchains and help our customers meet their regulatory obligations is the perfect intersection at a seminal moment for all of those areas.”

Earlier this month, the leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance hired a former strategic executive at Dell and the National Basketball Association Gin Chao as its global strategy officer. Chao will reportedly advance the organization’s global strategy, heading initiatives in corporate development, venture investment and its legal departments.

Blockchain security and cryptocurrency custody firm BitGo appointed a veteran Wall Street trader Nick Carmi as its head of financial services. According to a statement from BitGo CEO Mike Belshe, the hire was spurred by an intent to forge a stronger connection between technologically innovative digital assets and the traditional financial sphere.

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IBM’s Blockchain Division Largely Unscathed After Layoffs of 1,700: Report

Only a handful of the 1,700 layoffs recently announced by IBM affected its blockchain division, according to a report.

Only a “very, very tiny percentage” of this month’s 1,700 job losses at IBM affected its blockchain division, The Block reported on June 20.

Jerry Cuomo, the vice president of IBM Blockchain Technology, told the website that the tech giant is prioritizing blockchain skills when making hiring and firing decisions — adding it was “full steam ahead” for his department.

The layoffs have been described as a “realignment plan.” The consulting arm of IBM’s blockchain business experienced some losses of  redundant positions, but its engineering side reportedly escaped unscathed. A source told The Block:

“The product team had no layoffs, there was nothing out of development. It was very limited on the blockchain side.”

IBM currently has about 340,000 employees, meaning that it let go of roughly 0.5% of its workforce. As CNBC reported on June 7, this doesn’t mean a hiring freeze is on the horizon. More than 7,600 openings were listed on IBM’s website at press time, many of them for newer areas of the business.

Earlier this week, the company announced upgrades to its IBM Blockchain Platform so it can run on multiple cloud networks including Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

IBM has also been involved in a blockchain platform known as “Device ID,” which officially launched last week. The solution is designed to authenticate digital signatures to clamp down on financial crime, and is set to be used by nine banks across Brazil.

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Malaysia Launches Work Visa Program for Blockchain Tech Professionals

Malaysia has rolled out a work visa program targeting tech freelancers that addresses a demand for blockchain capable talents.

Malaysia has launched a work visa program targeting tech freelancers that addresses a demand for blockchain capable talens, local news outlet the Star reported on June 18.

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) — a government-owned organization that oversees the tech sector — blockchain organization Nem Foundation and job marketplace Jobbatical have jointly launched the program.

The program aims to attract foreign professionals who will have the right to stay in the country for up to 12 months to provide blockchain-related services or undergo training at a Malaysian company.

MDEC growth ecosystem development vice-president Norhizam Abdul Kadir said, “We will be kicking it [the program] off starting with blockchain jobs. The number of visas to be issued depends on the projects that will be run by blockchain companies in Malaysia.”

As previously reported, the Nem Foundation established NEM’s Blockchain Center in a 10,000-square foot facility in the capital of Kuala Lumpur to serve as an accelerator, incubator and coworking space. The center also houses the NEM Blockchain Innovation Lab, a headquarters for the research and development of the NEM platform.

Last June, a Malaysian government advisory committee, Majlis Perundingan Melayu signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korean blockchain lab IncuBlock for blockchain tech development permissible under Sharia law. The parties aim to develop a blockchain platform and a decentralized application that would meet the social requirements to be considered halal (permissible) by the Sharia Commission.

In September of last year, the government of Hong Kong announced an initiative that seeks to attract professionals in distributed ledger technology by simplifying the immigration policy. The move designated the government’s intention to “support Hong Kong’s development as a high value-added and diversified economy.”

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Consensys Launches ETH Blockchain, DApp Developer Job Kit to Help Hopefuls Enter Market

ConsenSys has released a new Blockchain and Dapp Developer Job Kit to help aspiring ETH blockchain developers enter the market.

On May 24, New York-based blockchain firm ConsenSys released a new Blockchain and DApp Developer Job Kit to help aspiring Ethereum blockchain developers enter the market.

Citing Linkedin’s 2018 U.S Emerging Jobs Report, Consensys notes that blockchain developer rotes have topped the professional network’s list for highest-growth positions in 2018, ostensibly increasing 33-fold in prevalence as compared with the previous year.

The new resources released with the kit thus aim to help developers meet the growing demand for practical blockchain development knowledge and successfully enter the burgeoning market.

Alongside resources to help developers navigate the professional field — with data about prospective salaries and a list of firms that are actively looking to onboard blockchain talent — the kit also provides an overview of the technical skills base a developer should look to master.

The kit includes a blockchain knowledge glossary, which covers topics such as consensus algorithms, smart contracts, miners and security incentivization, token standards and the so-dubbed scalability trilemma. In regard to cryptography, the glossary spans public and private key encryption, digital signatures, zero knowledge proofs, trusted execution environments and other topics.

In terms of programming languages for ETH-based Dapp development, the kit recommends a coding repertoire of JavaScript, Python and Solidity. For backend ETH protocol development, the kit notes languages such as Go, Rust, Java,.NET, C++ and Ruby.

In its overview of the sector, Consensys also cites a survey from Big Four auditor Deloitte which reportedly found that 67.6% of respondent developers hold a positive opinion on blockchain technology.

Another cited study — this time from fellow Big Four audit firm PwC — reportedly indicated that 77% of companies surveyed were making headway with rolling out their blockchain solutions, while only 14% had no current plans to integrate the technology.

As reported, Consensys has recently announced a major restructuring of its various operations in order to shore up its market presence.

As it seeks $200 million in funding, the firm also announced that Kavita Gupta would be leaving the helm of its VC investment branch ConsenSys Ventures, which will now be consolidated with ConsenSys Labs and accelerator Tachyon under one umbrella investment arn.

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Facebook Onboards Two Former Coinbase Compliance Experts

Social networking giant Facebook has on-boarded two compliance officers who previously worked at U.S. major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

Social networking giant Facebook has on-boarded two new compliance experts, who previously worked at United States major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

Mikheil Moucharrafie joined Facebook as compliance officer after almost four years of working at Coinbase. At the exchange, Moucharrafie held positions such as support analyst and quality assurance tester, anti-money laundering (AML)/bank secrecy investigator, compliance manager, and risk manager.

Jeff Cartwright spent nearly five years at Coinbase as a compliance manager, head of internal audit, and director of regulatory risk and exams. Prior to joining Coinbase, Cartwright was involved in AML consultancy at Big Four firm KPMG and AML compliance investigations at Goldman Sachs. At Facebook, Cartwright will hold the position of a policy and compliance manager.

As Cointelegraph reported in March, Facebook began hiring PayPal staff ahead of its rumored cryptocurrency launch. The company started onboarding dedicated blockchain staff last year, under the auspices of David Marcus, himself a former president of PayPal. Now, around 20% of the team’s 50 members come from the payments platform, a situation reminiscent of the so-called “PayPal Mafia” executive group of the early 2000s.

That same month, Facebook’s HQ in Menlo Park, California, opened five new positions in its blockchain department. The company was apparently seeking a growth product manager, product manager, data scientist, software engineer and business operations manager to join its blockchain team.

Recently, news broke that Facebook acquired the rights to the “Libra” trademark for its secretive cryptocurrency project. A source familiar with the matter confirmed that Facebook is recruiting financial firms to develop its own crypto and that the project’s codename and product name is Libra.

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Former Worldpay US Executive Joins Crypto Payments Firm BitPay as Its New CFO

Major cryptocurrency payment services provider BitPay has onboarded former Worldpay U.S. executive Glen Braganza as its CFO.

Major cryptocurrency payment services provider BitPay has onboarded former Worldpay U.S. executive Glen Braganza as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO), according to a press release published on May 7.

Having more than 15 years experience in private equity and public markets, Braganza joined BitPay to “help support the business through its next phase as the company grows into a global financial organization.”

While the release does not reveal what exactly Braganza will be engaged in, Stephen Pair, CEO and co-founder of BitPay, said that “Glen’s experience is a key advantage to BitPay as the team moves the company into the mainstream to help businesses leverage blockchain for fast consumer transactions and easy global payments.”

At Worldpay US, Braganza held the role of CFO, reportedly being responsible for over $400 million in annual revenue and over $150 billion in annual payment processing volume, as well as being engaged in the establishment of the Group’s business in the Netherlands in 2014. Prior to Worldpay US, Braganza work at Lloyds Banking Group in the United Kingdom and then joining Jefferies & Co in London.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, a former executive of British investment bank Barclays, Chris Tyrer, joined Fidelity Digital Assets, the crypto platform of American financial services corporation Fidelity Investments, to work on digital assets for the company.

Blockchain-powered precious metals platform Tradewind appointed an ex-JPMorgan Chase executive, Michael Albanese, as its new CEO. Albanese will take responsibility of the management of the company’s flagship metals market, which employs blockchain to streamline custody, trade and security of precious metals.

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Ledger Appoints Its President Pascal Gauthier as New CEO

Hardware crypto wallet producer Ledger has named its president, Pascal Gauthier, as its new CEO.

French hardware crypto wallet producer Ledger has named its president, Pascal Gauthier, as the new chief executive officer of the company. The news was announced in a press release published on April 24.

Gauthier —  a seed investor and board member —  initially joined Ledger as its president, and will now reportedly be in charge of executing the company’s strategy and delivery of its products. In his letter, Gauthier said that he “will focus all of [his] attention and energy on growing an amazing tech company on both the retail and enterprise side.”

The press release also notes that former CEO Eric Larchevêque will now serve as Executive Chairman of the Ledger’s Board. Larchevêque said in his letter that “in this role [he] will be able to properly focus on strategy and vision, while also overseeing regulator and government outreach, partnerships, customers, broader business relationships and technology thought leadership.”

April has been marked with an array of other appointments in the cryptocurrency space. Digital assets trading and custody platform Fidelity Digital Assets appointed a former Coinbase executive Christine Sandler as the head of Sales and Marketing. In this role, Sandler will reportedly lead the expansion of Fidelity Digital Assets into new markets, as well as take responsibility for institutional customers service.

Cointelegraph also reported that former engineering executive at PayPal and Google Mike Blandina will join the team behind the institutional digital asset platform Bakkt. Blandina will purportedly lead the firm’s efforts to combine an ecosystem for digital assets with payments use cases in order to help Bakkt bring applications to bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.

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Swisscom Blockchain AG Onboards New Chief Executive Officer

Blockchain-focused company Swisscom Blockchain AG has onboarded Ethereum engineer Lukas Hohl as its new CEO.

Blockchain-focused company Swisscom Blockchain AG has onboarded Ethereum (ETH) engineer Lukas Hohl as its new chief executive officer, Cointelegraph auf Deutsch reported on April 15.

Hohl, who previously served at various IT and finance companies, including Blockchain’s parent company Swisscom, business consulting firm BearingPoint, consultancy group Sofgen, and management consulting company Synpulse, will now lead the firm’s blockchain strategy and facilitate the further development of the company.

Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler, chief digital officer at Swisscom, commented on Hohl’s appointment, saying that “in the past, Lukas Hohl has built and managed companies, managed complex large-scale projects, is well networked in Switzerland and internationally and fits perfectly into the young team of Swisscom Blockchain AG.”

As Cointelegraph reported in January, Swisscom Blockchain’s former CEO Daniel Haudenschild unexpectedly left the firm. The news of Haudenschild’s sudden departure from Swisscom Blockchain came just a day before the executive accepted the position of president of the Crypto Valley Association.

At the time, the press release read that Wüthrich-Hasenböhler was set to take over as acting CEO of the company.

Last month, Swisscom — which is a Swiss state-owned telecoms and ICT firm — entered into a strategic partnership with global market infrastructure provider Deutsche Borse Group and Swiss and Singapore-based fintech company Sygnum to build out a compliant financial market infrastructure for digital assets.

The initiative reportedly focuses on creating a distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based ecosystem to support the nascent tokenized economy, which, the partners contend, “has the potential to reshape global financial markets.”

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Leading Bitcoin Cash Developer Amaury Séchet Leaves Bitcoin Unlimited

Leading Bitcoin Cash developer Amaury Séchet announced his departure from the development team of BCH node software Bitcoin Unlimited.

Leading Bitcoin Cash (BCH) developer Amaury Séchet announced his departure from the development team of BCH node software Bitcoin Unlimited in a Medium post published on March 25.

In his post, Séchet criticizes Bitcoin Unlimited project management and saying that it led to inefficient development and avoidable vulnerabilities in the code. He further notes that when he tried to address those issues, he was met with resistance. Séchet cites one instance where he claims that feedback he provided on some code was ignored. He states that the consequences of such behavior have been far-reaching:

“Failure to address these problems lead to a failure to activate large blocks properly on testnet and a series of 4 vulnerabilities allowing to bring nodes down remotely which ruined any chances for a majority big block fork.”

While Séchet admits that most software is built this way, he also notes that such practices are incompatible with cryptocurrency development. Per the post, the recent departure of Bitcoin Unlimited developer Antony Zegers has led him to reconsider his membership. He stated that Zegers “was one of the first to join, and certainly one of the most important members BU [Bitcoin Unlimited] has had.”

In their departure announcements, Both Zegers and Séchet bring the involvement of Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) supporters in Bitcoin Unlimited to attention. Séchet also criticizes how the BSV community seemingly approves a lawsuit against BCH developers and how Bitcoin Unlimited Improvement Proposals (BUIP) have turned into “a sad joke, with proposals more and more absurd being voted on.”

Séchet cited two BUIPs, the first proposing to sell all the organization’s Bitcoin Cash (BCH) for BSV and the other to raise the block limit to 10 terabytes (10,000 gigabytes).

As Cointelegraph reported in November last year, controversy over Bitcoin Cash’s hard fork continued after Bitcoin Cash SV (later recognized as Bitcoin SV), suffered what is known as a blockchain reorganization.

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US Leads in Blockchain-Related Job Offerings Globally: Report

A recent report from TNW shows that the U.S. leads the world in blockchain-related vacancies.

The United States is the world’s leader in blockchain-related jobs, according to a research by The NextWeb (TNW) published on March 8.

To prepare the report, TNW gathered information from job and recruiting site Glassdoor, finding all the job offerings that had the term “blockchain” in the job listing in countries around the world.

The results reportedly showed that the U.S. is leading the world in terms of blockchain-related jobs, having about half, or 2,616, of a total of 5,711 blockchain jobs listed on Glassdoor globally. The U.S. is followed by the United Kingdom, with 1,015 blockchain-related job ads, while India has taken the third place, with 257 vacancies.

Among the most common jobs posted on the site, “Blockchain Engineer” takes the lead. Such positions as “Senior Software Engineer” and “Blockchain Developer” are the second and third most popular job titles, respectively.

TNW also made a list of companies offering blockchain-related vacancies, wherein tech giant IBM reportedly offers the greatest number of blockchain jobs, and is followed by Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young and software company Oracle.

In the top 10 companies, only three are reportedly related to digital currencies, which are Foris Limited, Crypto.com, and Wirex. Payment startup Ripple is on the 17th line, and blockchain software tech company ConsenSys is the 13th.

In February, recruitment company Hired released a report showing that the global demand for blockchain engineers is up by 517 percent year-over-year. The second-fastest growing software engineering role is security engineer, with 132 percent growth, and third is embedded engineer, up 76 percent. The blockchain engineer role also consistently stayed among the top-three most-paid software engineering jobs in the various cities covered in the report.

That same month, experts and industry players said that the adoption of blockchain technology is still in its early stages at the annual meeting of The Wall Street Journal CIO Network. Although enterprise blockchain technology has found its practical use, its new applications are not large scale, according to Christine Moy, executive director and head of the blockchain center of excellence at JPMorgan Chase.