Blockchain Executive Amber Baldet Leaving JP Morgan To Start New Venturebr>
Amber Baldet, JP Morgan Chase’s best-known blockchain executive, is leaving the bank to start a business of her own.
Baldet began consulting for JP Morgan in 2009 and took a permanent position with the bank in 2011. Baldet has been the head of JPMorgan’s Blockchain Center of Excellence, which carried out several pilots and mapped out the bank’s blockchain strategy. She oversaw partnerships with the company behind Zcash, with the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts, and with the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Baldet also led product development for the bank’s permissioned blockchain platform, Quorum.
According to an internal bank memo sent on Monday by Umar Farooq, the bank’s head of blockchain initiatives, Baldet will be replaced by Christine Moy, a senior product manager in the bank’s Blockchain Center of Excellence. Moy worked with Baldet and the center from the start and has been leading blockchain product development across JPMorgan’s investor services and capital markets businesses.
“Amber is extremely talented and helped build the outstanding team we have today,” JPMorgan spokeswoman Jessica Francisco told Reuters in a written statement. “We respect her desire to start her own venture and we wish her nothing but the best.”
Rumors that Baldet would leave the company first surfaced late last month when it was reported that JP Morgan Chase was considering establishing its Quorum blockchain as a separate company in order to increase the platform’s appeal. Sources said that rival banks haven’t been keen on using Quorum because it is so closely tied to JPMorgan, leading the bank to decide that the blockchain would be better off operating independently of it.
JP Morgan developed Quorum two years ago for clearing and settling derivatives and cross-border payments. The aim is to create a digital ledger tailored for use by private enterprise clients such as banks, manufacturers, and corporations. Companies with Quorum-based projects include Microsoft, ING Groep NV, IHS Markit and Pfizer.