Bitcoin technology startup hires Morgan Stanley manager

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 06, 2015 4:46 PM

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Factom, a bitcoin technology company, has hired Morgan Stanley investment manager Jacob Dienelt as its head treasurer, the company said on Monday.

Dienelt co-founded the paper bitcoin wallet company Lazzerbee while working at Morgan Stanley, where he had been for almost a decade. He most recently managed a team of futures specialists in the bank's private wealth business.

"After two years traveling to bitcoin conferences, mining, and running a paper wallet company, I'm glad to have found a home in the space," Dienelt said. Mining refers to using sophisticated software to solve math problems in exchange for bitcoins, a type of virtual currency that requires no intermediary for online transactions.

A Morgan Stanley spokesman confirmed Dienelt had been an employee.

Dienelt is the latest example of so-called Bitcoin 2.0 firms poaching talent from Wall Street. The companies are called Bitcoin 2.0 because they are seeking new ways to use a bitcoin technology called blockchain beyond its original purpose.

The Bank of England called the technology "a significant innovation" in a report last fall, and entrepreneurs on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley have begun trying to repurpose it. A trade group called The Wall Street Bitcoin Alliance has been set up specifically for this reason.

Some examples of prominent Wall Street names heading to the bitcoin industry include Blythe Masters, former head of commodities trading at JPMorgan Chase & Co, who recently became chief executive of bitcoin trading firm Digital Assets Holdings LLC. Former New York Stock Exchange Chief Executive Duncan Niederauer is an advisory director at bitcoin derivatives exchange Tera Group.

(Reporting by Lauren Tara LaCapra; Editing by Richard Chang)