Home The Team
Richard Kastelein – Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
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 Kas
telein 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.
Haren, Groningen, Netherlands
Adriana Hamacher – Contributing Editor
Adriana Hamacher is an award winning writer, seasoned web content editor and BBC trained broadcast journalist and producer. She has written and produced items on subjects from technology to techno, for outlets as diverse as Economist Insights, the Discovery Channel, BBC World and IPC Magazines. She currently writes about Blockchain, robotics and automation, the Internet of Things, ICT, human-computer interaction, design and high performance computing for Innovate UK's Knowledge Transfer Network, the Economist Intelligence Unit and Robohub.
Mara McCann – Contributing Editor
Mara brings a broad base of experience working with a range of clients from software and mobile technologies, to angel investors, to entertainment professionals. Most recently, she has been on the Business Development team for The Hatchery, an Innovation Lab in New York, where she has assisted in numerous successful investment partnership deals. Previously, she has done business development consulting for a post-$25m Series B round, venture-funded Silicon Valley startup, working in the social media and search sector. As well she was an advisor to the founder of a San Francisco-based early stage technology investment incubator, on sourced angel investment deals, high-level networking and PR. She previously wrote for Huffington Post. Currently insane about all things related to Blockchain particularly in relation to government and the future of entertainment. She lives in New York.
New York City
Jurjen Söhne – Contributing Editor
Jurjen Söhne (aka Juri) is a Contributing Editor for Blockchain News, Founding Partner of The Hackitarians (Dutch Foundation) and Founder of Infinite Playground in the UK. Söhne is a catalyst for innovation active on the cutting-edge of digital, social, science and technology. He has co-organised and hosted a variety of hackathons across Europe ranging from Health, Applied Sustainability down to Television and Media. He is a Fellow and Connector of the RSA and has been involved in a number of technology startup project around the world from Singapore to London. A social entrepreneur at heart, and environmentalist by education, Juri revels in driving innovation in technology that betters the planet. He is purpose driven in humanising technology and democratising data for the purpose to increase the human potential and operates as an innovation catalyst - he is always looking to better programs, products, processes through (human-centered) design, (applied) science and (exponential) technologies. Söhne anticipates changing landscapes; easily projecting perspectives into the future and strategising these with proven and emerging technologies in mind. As an Environmental Scientist and Connector for the RSA, he enjoys supporting the Society with dedicated programs to tackle societal challenges. His specialties are Digital Strategy, Digital Transformation, Future Trends, Exponential Technologies, Artificial Intelligence, and Hackathons.
Bryan Feinberg – Partner at Large
Bryan Feinberg is a licensed investment banker with a focus on raising capital for both startup and growth stage technology companies. He is currently developing a fully FINRA compliant private placement and research engine for the private security marketplace. The company is currently tracking 250+ Blockchain centric companies along with most of the coveted billion dollar unicorns. With over 15 years of Venture experience in the both the private and public sectors, he brings an extensive network of both institutional and strategic investors to every deal he is involved in. Specialties include: Capital Raising, Secondary Private Equity, Venture Capital, JOBS Act Compliance, Investment Banking, Fintech, Blockchain, Big Data, Analytics, Regulatory Reporting and XBRL.
New York City
Adi Ben-Ari – Contributor
Adi Ben-Ari is the co-founder of Applied Blockchain and has 20+ years experience as architect, designer, developer and development/project manager for blue chip companies and more recently start-ups. He has extensive experience in Telecoms sector with Vodafone, T-Mobile, Carphone Warehouse, Nextel, Verizon, KPN, UPC, O2, and Amdocs as well as experience in financial services experience at Lloyd's Insurance Market and Lloyds Banking Group. Ben Ari has co-invented, designed, and registered a patent in the mobile payments space and his specialties are Analytics, Big Data, Machine Learning, Behaviour Profiling, Hadoop, and Enterprise Integration. He has an MBA from Tel Aviv University and B.Sc., Computer Science from Bristol University.
Jeremy Epstein – Contributing Editor
Jeremy Epstein, CEO of Never Stop Marketing, has 20 years of international marketing experience in helping to bring innovative technologies into the mainstream. Most recently, Jeremy was VP, Marketing at Sprinklr which grew from a $20 million valuation and 30 people to $1.3 billion valuation and 900 people in 3 years. Previous work experience includes Microsoft and consulting to start-ups, mid-market firms, and enterprises, including JNJ, Yes To Carrots, and two NY Times best-selling authors (Dan Pink and Gretchen Rubin. Jeremy also spent 3 years living and working in Frankfurt, Germany and Tokyo, Japan. Jeremy is the author of numerous whitepapers and a book, appropriately titled, “It’s ALL on the Blog, DON’T Buy the Book,” and has presented to hundreds of audiences in 15 countries. Jeremy has been the top-ranked speaker at multiple conferences including Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conferences and Microsoft CIO summit among others. Jeremy currently works with some of the leading and most innovative companies in the blockchain/decentralization space including OB1 and OpenBazaar. In December of 2016, he edited and published a collaborative eBook with 33 of the biggest influencers and thought-leaders called “Blockchains in the Mainstream: When Will Everyone Else Know?” Jeremy takes great joy in being an early adopter of new technologies, celebrating the victories (like buying Bitcoin at $80) and the defeats (too many to list) equally. Described by more than one client as a “shot of marketing espresso,” Jeremy discovered his calling for marketing while living in Tokyo in 1997 after reading Peppers and Rodgers "The 1:1 Future" and hasn't looked back since. Jeremy was a History major at Johns Hopkins, a skill which he wholeheartedly believes prepared him for the marketing profession. You can connect on LinkedIn or Twitter.
Johan Nygren – Blockchain Universal Basic Income Revolutionary
Johan Nygren is a natural born creative who abandoned med.school to pursue a career in the digital revolution. He’s currently focused on the ongoing decentralization of everything and what is often called “the 4th industrial revolution”, and how humans will leverage these P2P technologies to create something that is larger than themselves. Most of all, he’s interested in social resilience and fairness, and he wants to see individuals empowered to stand up against oppressive and coercive machines. He loves nature and is curious about the future of evolution.
Peter Kirby – CEO and Founder Factom
Peter has been an entrepreneur and start up specialist for 20 years. He has launched 6 companies including a real estate development firm, a neurochemistry consumer product company, and a bitcoin mining hardware company. He is currently leading the Factom project, which aims to build a data layer on top of the Blockchain and bring honesty and transparency to business systems everywhere. “Factom is a simple extension of the Bitcoin Blockchain that lets you build faster, cost effective applications with limited bloat”.
Gideon Greenspan – Founder and CEO of Coin Sciences
Gideon Greenspan is a developer, entrepreneur and lecturer who hails from London, England originally and now based in Tel Aviv, Israel. He is the founder / CEO of Coin Sciences Ltd, a company developing a suite of technologies and services for public and private Blockchains:
Tel Aviv, Israel
Benedikt Herudek – Freelance Computer Architect
Benedikt Herudek is a freelance computer architect based in the Netherlands. He's a Business Consultant for large software vendors with a focus on CRM and Integration Platforms. Herudek's educational background is in Formal Logic and Analytical Philosophy of Language. Professionally, he works with large enterprises, often integrating different applications. Personally, he is interested in macro economic and political questions. These pillars shape his outlook on Bitcoin and Blockchain technology. His first foray into cryptocurrency was when he agreed to his first bitcoin payment after some beer in a small pub in Amsterdam, where a friend explained him he'd be better off with bitcoin than with euro so he better open a wallet and accept that as a fair share of paying the tab. It took him a year - while witnessing the European financial crisis, the Greek bailouts, trying to make sense of Fed & ECB low interest policies... in awe of repeated failures and arrogance of the large banks - to going to the often quoted bitcoin rabbit hole... where be started his journey to understand the beautiful technology and (start to) get a glimpse on the potential impacts on society.
Brian Deery – Chief Scientist, Factom
Chief Scientist at Factom. Passionate about blockchain tech, and how it changes the world. Brian Deery is an engineer by trade and at heart. Deery is an early innovator in technology. He built a self-driving Lotus Elise which competed in the 2007 DARPA Urban Grand Challenge. The race competition included a precursor to Google’s driverless car. Previously, he served as an R&D Engineer at Pentair, Ltd where he designed and brought to market an underwater energy harvesting device. Earlier, Deery managed the quality control robots certifying ~$30M of yearly production at MTS Systems Corporation.
Benji Rogers – Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, PledgeMusic
Benji Rogers is a British-born, New York-based entrepreneur, technologist, musician, and the founder of Pledge Music. An early pioneer of the direct artist-to-fan model of distributing music, Rogers founded Pledge Music based on the belief that artists should share the process of their artistic output, not just the finished product. Straddling the worlds of technology and music, Rogers uses his dual background to advise a range of tech and music companies on how to bridge the divide between their industries. To address the unique challenges facing artists releasing their work in the digital economy, Rogers also co-founded the Dot Blockchain Music Project, an attempt to create a decentralized global registry of music rights using blockchain technology that will overhaul the commercialization and movement of music online. In addition to these projects and his ongoing role with Pledge, Rogers is also an instructor at Berklee College of Music on digital trends and strategies in the industry. A dedicated patron of arts and creativity in all its forms, Rogers’ work is rooted in a belief in the democratizing power of the internet; he will always be “loving your work.”
Rupert Hackett – General Manager of Bitcoin.com.au
Rupert Hackett is the general manager of Bitcoin.com.au and BuyaBitcoin.com.au. Rupert specializes in the digital currency and digital payment space and holds the world's first Master's degree in digital currencies. He writes for multiple bitcoin and tech websites and is an acting Board Director for the Australian Digital Currency Commerce Association (ADCCA), the country’s leading council and representation of and for digital currency businesses along with other key industry participants. A private sector membership congress, ADCCA is a unique business organisation in Australia with the intention of having members form a National Member Network made up of the peak economic sectors across the nation.
James Moreau – Freelance Writer
James Moreau is an advocate for the development and exposure of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology for the good of society. He has over 10 years of experience as a content marketer in the software industry. He writes, provides strategy and community marketing for a variety of freelance clients who are some of the most well-known players in the Blockchain and cryptocurrency space. He has been blogging for the better part of 16 years and has covered human rights, society, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Fintech, blockchain, branding, social media, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, MMA, food, wine and travel.
Ronald Mulder – Contributor
Ronald Mulder, Co-Founder of Thesis One is a social entrepreneur and a strategy consultant. Ronald is fascinated by the emancipating and empowering effects of new technology. Over the last fifteen years, Ronald has founded several companies, with varying degrees of success. He is currently conducting an experiment with Basic Income in The Netherlands and he is working on a new implementation of the old idea of mutual insurance. Ronald holds a Masters Degree in Economics and is co-author of the best selling textbook on Entrepreneurship in the Dutch language.<
Anthony Akentiev – Contributor
Founder of the Chain.Cloud consulting company and a crypto-enthusiast. We work in partnership with our clients, advising them how to use/integrate Blockchain technology in order to meet their business objectives or overcome problems. We identify opportunities by answering where does Blockchain fit in and what can you do with it. Former C++ developer and entrepreneur. CTO of a several startups.
Jake Vartanian – Contributor
Jake Vartanian acquired his first bitcoin for under $1 in April 2011. After sending his first transaction, he realized the monumental impact this newly acquired freedom would eventually have on our planet. Studying every digital currency that came onto the market for hours every day provided unique insight into the space. Experiencing markets develop from their inception, a perspective not achievable in traditional markets, has made it clear that a strong community is the key to growth. In 2016, he founded Cryptodex, a Blockchain consulting and marketing firm to support companies seeking to integrate cryptocurrencies or a digital token into their ecosystems. Balancing his work in Blockchain technologies with a traditional Raja yoga practice rooted in Himalayan Vedantic teachings keeps him attentive and focused (most of the time).
Tim Lea – Contributing Editor
Frustrated by a corporate career in finance, working with such names as GE Capital, HSBC, and Lloyds Bank, Tim Lea took the entrepreneurial leap of faith and plunged deep into Web 1.0 in February 1995, setting up an internet cafe-bar & restaurant and a web design house, which he sold in 2001, prior to calling Australia his home. Lea is the author of Blockchain: Down The Rabbit Hole: (Discover The Power Of The Blockchain) Here, he followed his passion for screenwriting, culminating in him writing, directing and co-producing an internationally award-winning feature film, 54 Days in 2014. When Tim went own the Blockchain Rabbit Hole for the first time in early 2015 he had that light bulb moment when he realised there was the chance to finally do something about film piracy and theft, leveraging this new and powerful technology. From here he set up Veredictum.io . He is a published author, and a regular speaker, writer and trainer on the strategic applications of the Blockchain.
Bruce Pon – Contributor
Bruce Pon is the CEO/Co-Founder of BigchainDB, a blockchain database that allows developers and enterprises to deploy decentralised applications. Prior to BigchainDB, Bruce co-founded Avantalion, a consulting firm specialised in building banks and industry startups in Europe and Asia for companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi. He has an Engineering Degree from the University of Saskatchewan and has advanced training from MIT Sloan, University of Cambridge and IMD.
Alex Fork – Contributor
Alex Fork is the CEO of the Humaniq project, a Banking 4.0 project designed to help lift the unbanked out of poverty in emerging economies. Humaniq is a combination of Blockchain, biometric identification technology, mobile and online banking. He is a member of the board at Bitcoin Foundation Russia, author of the book “Bitcoin. More than money” and the founder of the Future Fintech accelerator. Fork has been a speaker at numerous fintech conferences and in May 2016, he organised an Ethereum conference with Vlad Martynov (Ethereum advisory board) and Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum founder), which was attended by over 500 banking professionals.
Dwight Sproull – Contributor
Dwight Sproull is an analytical and creative writer and communicator with a significant amount of international experience, including living overseas for almost six years working for global companies. He's currently based in Moscow. Previously, as head of Social Media for Social Discovery Ventures in New York City, he conceived, planned, and implemented social media strategy for eight separate brands across a diverse array of platforms including Facebook, G+, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube managing social media and video advertising campaigns to achieve optimal results. Sproull harks from the US where he got his BA in History and Political Science from the University of Houston. Currently he's working on a number of projects including Humaniq - a Blockchain banking project for the bankless, where he puts his writing and communication skills to work disseminating Blockchain and it's potential to so alleviate poverty in emerging economies by helping empower some of the world's 2 billion bankless to participate in the digital economy.
Tiana Laurence – Contributor
Tiana Laurence is Co-founder & CMO of Factom, a Blockchain-as-a-service technology company. Under Tiana's direction, the company has secured a grant from The Gates Foundation and a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security to work on Blockchain projects using Factom's technology. She's very passionate about utilizing Blockchain technology to help developing nations with land titles, government transparency, and securing medical records.
Ransu Salovaara – Contributor
CEO of TokenMarket: Digital asset marketplace for investors & growth companies. Creator of BitcoinETI, the first bitcoin-backed exchange traded instrument. Financial industry executive specialised in cryptocurrencies, digital assets and blockchain technology. Revoltura is a company specialised on creating and managing publicly traded, EU passported disruptive investment products. This year we launched Europe's first bitcoin-backed Exchange Traded Instrument, BitcoinETI, that is listed in Gibraltar Stock Exchange and traded in Frankfurt Stock Exchange. TokenMarket is an information, crowdsale and exchange platform for digital assets. We help startups and projects with all aspects of ICO's (Initial Coin Offering), including smart contract security audits, escrow, token distribution, etc. Urram Investments is a family office focusing on fixed income investments, mainly corporate bonds in Europe and in the USA. We also actively look for new, interesting investment opportunities
Trent McConaghy – Contributor
Trent's vision is to have a shared public database for the internet, to allow sovereign management of personal data and to celebrate the cultural commons while compensating creators. Towards this, he works on the IPDB network & foundation, BigchainDB blockchain database software, Coala IP protocol, and advise Estonian E-residency program. These are building blocks towards his long-term goal - to help ensure that humanity has a role in an increasingly autonomous world. Trent started my career by doing AI research for Canadian national defense in the 1990s, while still an undergraduate. Then, in his first startup (ADA), he explored creative AI. ADA was acquired in 2004 and then extended that work during his PhD, and found a way to reconcile machine creativity with existing engineering knowledge. In his second startup (Solido), he leveraged AI to help drive Moore's Law, which was under threat due to manufacturing variations. Now, Solido SW is used for most modern chip designs. Most recently Trent co-founded ascribe to help compensate creators in the digital era (via IP on the blockchain) and this work evolved into IPDB, BigchainDB, and Coala IP. More: -PhD in EE from KU Leuven, Belgium. Awarded #1 thesis worldwide in the field. -BE EE and BsC CS from U Saskatchewan, Canada. Awarded #1 final year thesis. -Did ML research for Canadian Department of National Defense. -Wrote 2 Books on ML, circuits and creativity. Also 35 Papers, 20 Patents. -Keynotes & invited talks at MIT, Columbia, Berkeley, JPL, Nvidia, IFA+ Summit, Data Science Day Berlin, PyData Berlin, more. Regular lecturer at Data Science Retreat [link]. -Organize Singularity Meets Self Improvement [link] and co-organize Berlin Machine Learning [link] meetups. Co-organized workshops on ML / circuits. TPC / reviewer for many conferences & journals -Past projects: painting, BCI hacking, hypnosis, video game programming, surfing. -Raised in a pig farm in Canada, hacking away on cold winter nights.
Eyal Hertzog, Bancor’s Chief Architect and Head of Product Development, is a serial entrepreneur. The Bancor protocol enables built-in price discovery and a liquidity mechanism for tokens on smart contract blockchains. These “smart tokens” hold one or more other tokens in reserve and enable any party to instantly purchase or liquidate the smart token in exchange for any of its reserve tokens, directly through the smart token’s contract, at a continuously calculated price, according to a formula which balances buy and sell volumes. Previously he was co-founder of Metacafe, a place where artists create, consumers interact and technology enables communication. Prior to co-founding Metacafe, Mr. Hertzog co-founded Contact Networks in 1998, one of the first interpersonal, professional online networks. At Contact Networks, he was responsible for overall product strategy and overall technical architecture, and managed strategic relationships with Nokia, GemPlus, Comverse and other large partners. He has also advised US and Israeli high-tech startups on strategy, product roadmaps and technology architecture, and worked with Israeli venture capital firm Millennium Capital Venture as an investment advisor.
Chen Lo – Contributing Editor
Chen Lo has a hybrid background in finance and technology... after two-years' experience in software testing in China, she pursued a masters degree in France and worked as an LBO analyst. She sees the fin and the tech closely intertwined - technology is by no means a utopia free of capitalism. She is also a passionate latin ballroom dancer and photographer.
Matthew van Neikerk
In 2016 and after several years of self-study and experimentation with blockchain technologies, Matthew set up his own company, SettleMint, offering a set of modular middleware solutions that abstract away the complexity of the blockchain journey for clients. Prior to this, Matthew made Belgium his home in 2006, where he worked at KBC first as an internal management and operations consultant, later as COO for the Belgian Consumer Finance business and finally as the Head of Platform Innovation at KBC Securities Bolero where he was responsible for the technical side of the online retail brokerage platform ‘Bolero’ and the equity crowdfunding platform ‘Bolero Crowdfunding’. Bolero Crowdfunding was the first bank/broker in Europe to launch a publicly available blockchain application in Europe. A Canadian by origin and an Economist (Western) and MBA (Vlerick) by education, Matthew spent the first 7 years of his international career in Tokyo, where he worked in the FX business and launched several online retailing companies.
Timothy Max – Contributor
Timothy is a Software Engineer from Kenya with more than 6 years of experience in web and mobile application development. He started a successful consulting firm interacting with clients from Kenya, UK and US. He is self taught and loves the learning journey. Through this he has gained a vast knowledge and experience in problem solving and tech.
He is also an entrepreneur and has ran a startup providing an ecommerce solution and empowering small business owners in Kenya, duka.io. Through this he has gained experience in management and marketing.
He is a firm believer of the power of blockchain technology and he is a cryptocurrency investor, trader, developer, and aspiring entrepreneur. He is also a Solidity(Ethereum) developer. He is researching on how blockchain can be applied in regions with low literacy, smartphone penetration and internet connectivity. He believes that is where the opportunity lies.
Currently developing a financial system for the African market, vpesa.com
He has been an active participant in the Kenyan tech ecosystem, organizing several groups including Nairobi JS and participating in several events. Through this he has gained networks and skills in community management and event planning.
He speaks about tech from time to time, alongside mentoring upcoming software developers.