For any new and novel technology, the adoption s-curve features four major phases, and blockchain is no exception. The four phases are:
- Early Adopters
- Early Majority
- Late Majority
Now, more than ten years into the blockchain experiment, the ecosystem has undeniably moved beyond the early adopters’ phase, especially as it finds newfound support and evangelism from some of the globe’s biggest icons.
The immense disruptive potential that blockchain possesses, coupled with its growing adoption, makes it a strategic threat to many incumbent industries. This very reality may indeed be the catalyst for human capital eagerly flocking to this fresher paradigm.
Between notable names lining up behind cryptos, including the likes of Elon Musk, and an expanding universe of use cases, blockchain’s promising outlook is increasingly captivating for top human talent. (See Bitcoin stock comparison chart on TipRanks)
Former Wall Street Execs Make the Leap to DeFi
Bitcoin wasn’t viewed as much of a challenge to traditional (centralized) finance in its early days. Still, as adoption grew and use cases abounded, especially in payments, borrowing, and lending, traditional brick-and-mortar institutions began to take note.
As spaces like decentralized finance (DeFi) experience greater traction and adoption, industry executives are making the migration to crypto. They are in search of promising new projects in areas where mainstream finance used to enjoy near-total monopolies. Among the projects attracting this top executive talent is Alkemi.
Eager to capitalize on the takeoff of DeFi, Alkemi is attempting to bridge more traditional centralized finance (CeFi) with its decentralized counterpart. It aims to bring more people and institutions into the vast potential demonstrated by decentralized finance in yield generation through liquidity pooling. Since emerging from stealth mode in April, Alkemi has unveiled a group of former banking talents, and among them is Brian Mahoney.
The co-founder of Alkemi and Chief Strategy Officer, Mahoney is an experienced financial services professional who formerly served as an Assistant Vice President at HSBC (HSBC) in leveraged finance. He is now overseeing a team of former finance professionals making inroads into the centralized financial services industry, as the company seeks to build the bridge between Wall Street and blockchain-based finance.
Mahoney is far from the only former financial services professional making the jump. Unizen, a smart exchange platform, connects centralized and decentralized crypto exchange liquidity within a single interface, known as CeDeFi. Part of its team is comprised of former ex-Wall Streeters, with the latest addition to its team bringing his own substantial institutional experience to the platform.
James Taylor, the former Global Head of eFX Sales at BNY Mellon (BK), has over 20 years of experience within major investment banks, including Barclays (BCS), Deutsche Bank (DB), JP Morgan (JPM), and Salomon Brothers. He will now be joining Unizen as the Chief Business Development Officer, helping forge new institutional partnerships and build a new gateway for participants to access the digital assets arena.
Not Just Bankers: Blockchain’s Creative Embrace
Although upending finance was one of blockchain technology’s first value propositions, the expanding universe of tools and services has set the stage for new use cases to find their way to more mainstream audiences. One of the biggest trends over the past year has been non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The most prominent use of NFTs is tokenizing art, collectibles, and other creative works, although the list of possible applications is quite extensive, and routinely explores new avenues. These unique tokens are used to represent non-exchangeable or interchangeable ownership in a digital format. This development is tremendous for creatives, especially given that creatives are often at the bottom of the food chain relative to publishers, in terms of monetization.
Among the initiatives endeavoring to realize this shift is Spores Network, a community and creator-oriented platform that intends to be an all-in-one NFT ecosystem, from minting and issuing new NFTs to auctioning and eventually trading unique works. Powered by DeFi, Spores Network wants to cement itself as the go-to destination for decentralized pop culture.
To help Spores Network realize these ambitious goals, it has recently onboarded former film and TV producer Allen V. Dam as Chief Content Officer to lead its efforts. Dam, who began his career working for Hollywood talent agency William Morris before moving to Fox Entertainment (FOX), has been a fixture in the Chinese entertainment industry for years.
His more recent roles within China Film Group Corporation (CFGC), and later at Dadi Film as a producer, saw him close major distribution deals for foreign action films seeking entry to the Chinese market. As an executive within Spores Network, he aims to embrace NFTs to help fans own a unique piece of content history related to films, comic books, television series, works of art, videogames, and more.
Capitalizing On Crypto’s Momentum
The pull of blockchain technology and its myriad uses are undeniably helping the ecosystem appeal to top talent. The talent often hails from industries that are gradually being disrupted by this fresher approach to products and services.
With its strong outlook, blockchain is already challenging entrenched players in finance and content. It will likely see its influence strengthen with the passage of time and the accompanying innovation.
Disclosure: Reuben Jackson held no position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article at the time of publication.
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this article should be taken as a solicitation to purchase or sell securities.