Amber Baldet and Patrick Mylund Nielsen have departed Wall Street stalwart JPMorgan Chase & Co to create Clovyr, a platform that helps businesses and consumers navigate the world of blockchain-based decentralized applications.
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The brainchild of Baldet, (CEO), and Nielsen, (CTO), a demonstration of Clovyr was unveiled at the Consensus conference in Manhattan yesterday. The product is still under development and the cofounders are seeking funding (not via an ICO, incidentally).
Nielsen was the lead developer of JPMorgan’s Quorum, a blockchain-backed platform for enterprises the bank hoped would help reduce the costs of cross-border and interbank money transfers. The bank is currently considering spinning the blockchain project off as its own entity, to make it more appealing to rival banks seeking to take advantage of blockchain technology to settle transactions and trades.
Baldet was JPMorgan’s blockchain program lead. Amid rumors of the financial giant’s plans to spin Quorum off, Baldet and Nielsen’s April departures led to conjecture they were planning to establish a startup of their own.
The pair envisage Clovyr to serve as one cog in what they feel is the inevitable convergence of public and private (enterprise-friendly) blockchains. Baldet has spoken of a hybrid blockchain model to meet the privacy needs that enterprises demand and the security that decentralization provides.
At a recent MIT Technology Review conference she spoke to the audience of an example where a person wanting finance to purchase a car would not have to reveal their salary. A blockchain would store information accessible to creditors that showed whether or not an applicant was creditworthy, without having to impose onerous privacy infringements on them. Comparing blockchain technology to cloud computing in its early days, Baldet says:
“When public cloud started to be a thing, a lot of businesses said, Oh, cloud, it’s a great idea architecturally, but we’re going to go ahead and build our own private cloud internally, because it’s safer and we know what we need. Now they’re spending millions of dollars to undo a lot of that work in an attempt to migrate to the public clouds that have evolved to the point where they are secure and robust and connected.”
Clovyr is not the first startup involving ex-JPMorgan employees. It follows a California startup, Clover, which is creating an open payment point-of-sale platform that it hopes will eventually be accompanied by a mobile wallet for use in retail stores. Clover is now owned by First Data, the Atlanta-based payments giant that processes around 45 percent of all credit card transactions worldwide. First Data’s CEO is Frank Bisignano, a former co-COO at JPMorgan Chase.
Just as Wall Street titans embrace blockchain technology, the tech-savvy employees helping establish their platforms appear to be leaving to create – or join – even more cutting edge companies.
Have your say. Will Amber Baldet’s Clovyr succeed? How will JPMorgan replace her and Nielsen?
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