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.

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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.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

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, 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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