JPMorgan’s top blockchain executive Amber Baldet to leave for her own startup

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J. P. Morgan Chase’s best-known blockchain executive Amber Baldet will leave the bank to start her own venture, the bank said Monday.

“Amber is extremely talented and helped build the outstanding team we have today. We respect her desire to start her own venture and we wish her nothing but the best,” a J.P. Morgan spokesperson told CNBC.

Baldet, who led JPMorgan’s Blockchain Center of Excellence and helped the bank set its strategy, will be replaced by Christine Moy, another senior product manager at the bank, Reuters first reported Monday, citing an internal memo.

The memo was reportedly sent by Umar Farooq, head of channels, analytics and innovation for treasury services and head of blockchain initiatives for JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank, Reuters said.

J.P. Morgan developed its blockchain technology called Quorum two years ago for clearing and settling derivatives and cross-border payments.

The lender has been working on a spin-off of this main blockchain project in part to get a wider audience for it, the Financial Times reported in March.

A spin-off of Quorum underlines challenges Wall Street firms have after developing new technologies for the industry but failing to get much outside adoption. The FT reported that rival banks could have been reluctant to use Quorum because it was so closely associated with J. P. Morgan.

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology underpinning cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, which major banks have tested for use in payments and other activities.

A spokesman told the FT in March that the bank wasn’t going to comment on the speculation, but “Quorum has become an extremely successful enterprise platform.”

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