View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
May 27, 2015

Bitcoin start-up Xapo adds Visa, Citibank & US Treasury luminaries to board

Interest in blockchain continues even as US company relocates to Switzerland.


The Bitcoin wallet company Xapo has bolstered its board with luminaries from the Wall Street and the US Treasury, in the latest sign that cryptocurrency is being taken seriously by the finance industry.

Visa founder Dee Hock, former Citibank chief executive John Reed and former US Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers will all join the advisory board of the American start-up, which began operating only last year.

Speaking about his appointment, Hock said: "Bitcoin represents not only the future of payments but also the future of governance.

"We live in the 21st century but are still using command and control organisational structures from the 16th century. Bitcoin is one of the best examples of how a decentralised, peer-to-peer organization can solve problems that these dated organisations cannot."

The appointments follow the company’s relocation to Zurich in Switzerland earlier this month, which was prompted by privacy concerns in the firm’s former home in the US.

Xapo’s new quarters will allow it to benefit from Switzerland’s historic political neutrality and welcoming climate for finance, though the firm will maintain a presence in Palo Alto, California for its US customers.

That three leading American financiers have joined the board is also a mark of increased interest from global finance in the blockchain technology at the heart of Bitcoin, which acts as a public ledger for transactions.

Content from our partners
Unlocking the value of artificial intelligence and machine learning
Behind the priorities of tech and cybersecurity leaders
Corporate ransomware attacks: It’s only a matter of when, not if

"Until now whenever we’ve needed to transfer money we’ve had to rely on a third party, whether it be a bank, a clearing house or a payment network," Summers said.

"Bitcoin offers, for the first time, a method for transferring value and making payments from anywhere to anywhere, in real-time, without any intermediary. This could mean we soon see many billions of people sending bitcoin everyday as easily as they currently send a text message."

Reed noted that until this point finance has been "largely untouched by the digital revolution", and commented that Bitcoin was the best kind of universal ledger because of restrictions in the currency which ensures that only a finite of bitcoins will ever be created.

"The mere fact that there will never be more than 21 million bitcoins and that each bitcoin can be divided into 100 million units makes it a significant improvement on any historical form of currency," he said.

Websites in our network
NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy