Blockchain Pioneer Symbiont Appoints Industry Veterans to Advisory Board

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Symbiont, a pioneer in the use of blockchains and the creator of Smart Securities™, today announced that it has appointed two financial industry veterans, Maureen O’Hara and Dr. Keith B. Jarrett to its Advisory Board. These appointments will provide proven expertise and guidance to the Symbiont team in the areas of market structure and the adoption of disruptive financial technologies.

The appointment of O’Hara and Jarrett will reinforce Symbiont’s leadership position in the development of real-world application of blockchain technology. In August 2015, it announced the issuance of the first Smart Securities™, an important step forward in the financial industry’s adoption of distributed ledgers to better manage operational workflow.

“Blockchain technology and Smart Securities will help restore trust in the markets, so it is imperative to convert this early momentum into practical solutions that solve real problems.

Adding seasoned FinTech leaders like Maureen and Keith is perfectly timed and we’re excited to have them join our Advisory Board,” said Mark Smith, CEO and founder of Symbiont. O’Hara is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Investment Technology Group, Inc.

She was a driver of ITG’s innovation and industry leadership, helping clients across the ecosystem transform from manual to electronic and algorithmic trading in US equity markets.

She is also on the Board of TIAA-CREF and is the Robert W. Purcell Professor of Finance at the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Ms. O’Hara served as the President for a number of major economic and financial industry organizations, and was a member of the CFTC-SEC Emerging Regulatory Issues Task Force, the Global Advisory Board of the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and the Advisory Board of the Office of Financial Research in the U.S. Treasury. Dr. Jarrett was a founding executive of Thomson Financial (now Thomson Reuters) where he spent 20 years developing and implementing disruptive information technologies into the professional financial and banking industry.

Those 20 years witnessed Thomson and Jarrett alter the international FinTech landscape as developers, vendors and spokesmen for intelligent PC workstations, Wall Street research distribution and accessibility, electronic trading, and Straight thru Processing. Since his retirement from Thomson in 2002, Dr. Jarrett has served as a university educator in entrepreneurship, and a private equity investor, advisor, and board member for public and private financial and financial technology firms.

Dr. Jarrett is also a distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy. “Not since the confluence of the microchip and the Internet 20 years ago, has there been a technological innovation which has greater potential to materially improve the infrastructure of financial securities’ issuance, trading, and safekeeping,” remarked Jarrett.

“Envision a virtually hack-proof peer-to-peer network, with a universally replicated database and no master server, which is also broadly accessible for permissioned users. So regarding today’s back-office systems technology, it’s not difficult to connect the dots to potential material improvements in efficiency, cyber-security, liquidity, and counterparty risk. Symbiont is the leader in this technology and uniquely positioned to bring this concept more into practical use.”

Symbiont was formed as a combination of MathMoney (fx) and Counterparty, which was founded in 2013.

Founder, Publisher and Editor in Chief of industry leading online publication, Blockchain News and co-founder and director at Blockchain Partners in London/Amsterdam/NYC. Kastelein is also an advisor with a number Blockchain startups doing ICOs including DECENT.ch, Inchain, Humaniq, Chronobank, eGaas and others.

He is regarded as one of the top journalists by the Blockchain and fintech communities – as is evident by his entry in the Top 150 Fintech journalists online and in the top 10 of the Blockchain Top 100 List. As a prominent keynote presenter, he has spoken on Blockchain at events in Gdansk, Amsterdam, Minsk, Dubai, Antwerp, Eindhoven etc, where he helped spread the cause for Blockchain technology and crypto-currency and, consequently, has built a notable network inthe scene.

He’s also a director of a Dutch foundation called The Hackitarians and has run innovation events in London, San Francisco, Berlin, Amsterdam and other cities around the world on topics such Blockchain, Health, Energy, Internet of Things, AI etc.

In 2013, the European Commission appointed him as an expert for overseeing financing for emerging startups as a part of the European Commission’s 90 billion euro Horizon 2020 project, created in Brussels to promote innovation as a driving force of job creation and business ventures across Europe. He has also worked as an external expert for Innovate UK since 2012, judging startups for the UK government.

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