BlackRock, the investment firm with $ 7.8 trillion in assets under management, posted a job offer for a vice president, blockchain leader. The role is not to develop blockchain technology but to invest in digital assets and blockchain businesses.
The firm is looking for a businessman rather than a technical candidate but someone who can provide a methodology for valuing cryptoassets and talking about topics such as hashing and consensus mechanisms. The person should understand decentralized governance models and be able to analyze the network design of a blockchain, especially with regard to speed, scalability, privacy and security.
In April 2019, BlackRock hired former Ripple executive Robbie Mitchnick to lead its digital assets area. He also wrote an article describing a methodology for valuing cryptoassets. In a podcast in September that year, Mitchnick was called the company’s “ blockchain leader ” and described precisely the same performance tradeoffs in terms of speed, scalability, privacy. and security.
Interestingly, given the SEC’s recent action against Ripple, Mitchnick spoke of centralization. He said scalability was still only a limitation for decentralized networks without authorization. “If you are willing to sacrifice on true decentralization and have a predetermined set of institutional validators, which in many use cases is a perfectly reasonable tradeoff, then speed and scale can be much more. high, ”said Mitchnick.
And he went on to present a long list of financial applications in which he believes enterprise blockchain is relevant. These include payments, KYC, trade finance, derivatives, proxy voting, bank loans, securitized loans, and REPO.
The job posting comes at a time of heightened institutional interest in the cryptocurrency industry. Earlier this month, MassMutual announced that it had invested $ 100 million in bitcoin. And several banks have exposed institutional cryptocurrency firms, including Standard Chartered, Northern Trust, BBVA Switzerland, and DBS Bank of Singapore.