R3 Assembles Expert Technology Team to Lead Blockchain Initiative

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Financial innovation firm R3 today announced the team tasked with managing the design and delivery of advanced Blockchain technologies to global financial markets in partnership with its consortium of member banks.

The team brings together a unique set of expertise in electronic financial markets, distributed ledgers and blockchain technologies. They will be responsible for leading joint working groups with the 30 global banks involved in the project and facilitating a collaborative lab environment or “sandbox” to test and validate distributed ledger prototypes and protocols.

Today’s staffing announcement coincides with the addition of five more banks to R3’s distributed ledger initiative – BNP Paribas, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, ING Bank, Macquarie Bank, and Wells Fargo & Co. – bringing the total number of bank members to 30.

David Rutter, CEO of R3 commented:

“The combined strength of our technology team and the diverse global footprint of our member banks – now including five more members – clearly differentiates us and puts us in a unique and exciting position within the distributed ledger space. The R3 collaborative model is the best way to quickly, efficiently and cost effectively deliver these new technologies to global financial markets. We look forward to welcoming more players to our growing team as the initiative continues to develop and evolve.”

The new appointments are based across R3’s New York, San Francisco and London headquarters and include:

Richard Gendal Brown, Managing Director, Chief Technology Officer: Formerly Executive Architect for Banking Innovation at IBM, Richard is a leading authority on advanced shared ledger technologies. In his fifteen year career at IBM he specialized in the application of new technology in banking and financial markets. He is an advisor to several fintech startups and he mentors at London’s Startupbootcamp fintech accelerator.

James Carlyle, Director, Chief Engineer: James has 25 years of in-depth IT experience as a software engineer, innovator and enterprise architect. As Chief Engineer for Personal and Corporate Banking Architecture at Barclays, James was responsible for the architecture and design of some of the banks’ most complex projects. He has cofounded two companies and raised €4 million in venture capital funding to build innovative mobile data search and directory services.

Mike Hearn, Director, Lead Platform Engineer: Mike is one of the world’s leading experts in blockchain-based digital currencies and was a senior software engineer at Google, where he spent over seven years working on products such as Earth, Maps, Gmail and account security. Mike was one of the first users of Bitcoin, developed the leading Java Bitcoin API, co-developed the first and still most popular Bitcoin wallet for Android and pioneered smart contracts with the Lighthouse P2P crowdfunding app. Before joining R3 CEV, he was a developer in residence at Andreessen Horowitz.

Ian Grigg, Architecture Consultant: Ian is a financial cryptographer with 20 years experience building secure ledger systems for the internet. He is the inventor of the Ricardian Contract, and co-inventor of triple entry accounting. His focus has been on the reliable issuance of value and the extension of financial cryptography into messaging, identity and community applications.

Tim Swanson, Director, Head of Research: Tim has extensive experience as a business and market research consultant, with a strong understanding of business development in China and Asian markets. He has written three books based on a compilation of market research he conducted, including a study of Bitcoin. He also has a background in IT, teaching and website development.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder of industry publication Blockchain News, partner at ICO services collective CryptoAsset Design Group (helped raise over $200m+), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser at leading industry event  CryptoFinancing (first ICO event in Europe) - Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of half a dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1200 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.
 
Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London, Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, Shanghai,Tel Aviv and Venice. His network is global and extensive.
 
He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French.
 
A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world.
 
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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