JPMorgan’s key blockchain executive is departing the bank for the world of startups, it has emerged.
Amber Baldet heads up JPMorgan’s Blockchain Center of Excellence, which explores the development of distributed ledger technology and uses cases of blockchain technology across the firm’s business. A high-profile figure in the blockchain space in her own right, she is leaving to start her venture, according to Reuters.
Baldet set up JPMorgan’s blockchain strategy and headed up its enterprise-focused Quorum blockchain, which is reportedly being considered for a spinout. As Baldet’s six-year tenure at the bank ends, she will be replaced by Christine Moy, who led blockchain services across the bank’s Investor Services and Capital Markets segments, according to Fortune.
The exit is an example of a talent drain that is beginning to take shape in banking and financial services with engineers and business execs moving over to blockchain and crypto projects that are seen to have serious growth potential.
That’s despite a rocky year to date for crypto, at least in terms of valuations.
Bitcoin reached nearly $20,000 per coin in December but it spent much of March below $10,000. As of today, one bitcoin is worth $7,387, according to Coinmarketcap.com. Top tokens like Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple are also down significantly on their record January-December prices.
There’s a strong case to be made that a more stable crypto market is for the best, even if there is a loss in value. High prices led to high transaction fees, which made life difficult for developers whilst also adding uncertainty for market speculators and token collectors.
Note: The author owns a small amount of cryptocurrency. Enough to gain an understanding, not enough to change a life. (That’s definitely the case lately.)