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Former SunGard and SWIFT Executives Join Blockchain Startup

Blockchain tech developer Digital Asset Holdings has named Cristóbal Conde, the former President and CEO of SunGard, and Chris Church, the former Chief Executive for the Americas and Global Head of Securities at SWIFT, to its board and management team. Conde joined the company as the Non-Executive Board Director while Church joined as the Chief Business Development Officer.

Digital Asset builds distributed, encrypted straight-through processing tools. The company’s technology improves efficiency, security, compliance and settlement speed.

The financial services industry is undergoing a period of technological and regulatory change and it is more important than ever to have veteran leaders with diverse experiences to help drive innovation, said Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset in the press release. With more than 50 years of combined experience in the financial and technology sectors, Cris and Chris have a deep understanding not only of the marketplace but of what we are building and they will be invaluable to our continued growth.

Conde worked at SunGard for 24 years before FIS purchased the company this year. He grew the firm to become a Fortune 500 Company and the largest privately held software and services company in the world, employing over 26,000. Prior to his appointment as President and CEO, Conde held various senior roles including Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Previously, Conde co-founded Devon Systems, a firm which provided risk management and recordkeeping software for the over-the-counter derivative markets before its acquisition by SunGard in 1987. Conde is also a senior member of the Partnership for New York City’s FinTech Innovation Lab, a 12-week mentorship program for technology startups.

FinTech implies a perfect marriage of finance and technology and Digital Asset is a natural leader with both elements in its DNA. I am thrilled to be involved during this innovative era to help Digital Asset build the trusted scaffolding necessary in order to realize the potential that blockchain and shared ledgers have to offer, said Cris Conde.

Church previously was CEO for the Americas and global head of securities at Swift, the international cooperative and global messaging network.

Church was also part of the executive team that founded Radianz, Inc., the world's largest extranet. At Radianz, his responsibilities included global sales and marketing before BT acquired the company in 2005. He then led the commercial integration into BT Financial Services as the General Manager until he joined SWIFT. Church has held senior management roles at Reuters in both London and San Francisco and has previously served as a Board Member and Vice Chairman of XBRL US. Church was also a member of the board of the International Securities Services Association.

I’m incredibly excited about the power of distributed ledger technology to enhance the way that financial markets operate and I truly believe it is a case of when, and not if, this becomes a reality, said Chris Church. Digital Asset is at the heart of bringing business and technology together and is well positioned to lead the industry as we focus on the transformative potential of this new technology.

A few months ago, Digital Asset Holdings, headed by Masters, acquired Blockstack for an undisclosed amount.

Blockstack aims to provide financial institutions back-office operations, including clearing & settlement on a private blockchain.

A private blockchain allows only the owner to have the rights on any changes that have to be done. This could be seen as a similar version to the existing infrastructure wherein the owner (a centralized authority) would have the power to change the rules, revert transactions, etc. based on the need. This could be a concept with huge interest from FIs and large companies. It could find use cases to build proprietary systems and reduce the costs while at the same time, increase their efficiency.

Blockchain has been a hot topic for a while now in a number of conversations at conferences and on the Web. The technology owes its success to the open nature, speed and simplicity.

With so many applications of blockchains, a wide range of companies are currently building with the technology. The different blockchain startups involved are Ripple Labs, Earthport, GetGems, Everledger, R3CEV, Circle, Safello, Symbiont, Coinfloor, Coinbase, Chromaway, Coin Republic, Clearmatics, Kraken and Bitcoin.de.

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