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Bakkt Appoints Former Paypal and Google Engineering Executive as Its CPO

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Bakkt hires Mike Blandina

Yesterday, Bakkt, a virtual currency platform for institutional investors announced through a blog post that it had hired Mike Blandina. Blandina is a former engineering executive at Paypal and Google. He has more than 25 years of experience in digital payments, engineering, strategy, and operations and he joined Bakkt as its Chief Product Officer (CPO).

According to the announcement, Blandina’s role as the new CPO of Bakkt will be heading the firm’s efforts to create a trusted ecosystem for crypto assets. In so doing, he would help Bakkt reach its goal of bringing real-life use cases to bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

Mike Blandina’s reputation

Blandina worked as the head of payments and credit engineering at Paypal. His position at Google was the director of engineering for the Google Wallet. He also bought a VC-backed FinTech firm named Txvia. Per Txvia’s Linkedin profile, it offers, the most advanced transaction processing technology for upcoming payments and financial services. He served as the chief technology officer (CTO) at Blackhawk network, one of the biggest gift card and digital payment firms in the world. Blandina also worked as a member of the Money2020 advisory board. He learned how to write software while serving in the US army.

Other recent hires by Bakkt

In the same announcement, Bakkt’s CEO Kelly Loeffler, said that the firm had appointed other big names over the past months. These include,

Adam White

Adam White was Coinbase exchange’s vice president and general manager before joining Bakkt in October last year. He now works as Bakkt’s founding COO and head of institutional custody and traded products.

Balaji Devarasetty

Balaji Devarasetty is a former Worldplay executive. According to his Linkedin profile, he has over seven years in software product life cycle management. He is now Bakkt’s vice president of tech.

Tom Noonan

Tom Noonan is a cybersecurity expert that founded Internet Security Systems, which was acquired by IBM. He worked at IBM, Cisco, and Endgame before moving to Bakkt to lead the firm’s board of directors.

Bakkt still faces approval issues

Bakkt went live last year and to date, it still faces approval problems from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Reportedly, the regulatory body delayed Bakkt’s approval in February. According to sources, the agency told Bakkt that it would have to be more compliant before it is allowed to have custody over its clients’ crypto assets.

Do you think Mike Blandina has what it takes to help Bakkt reach its goals? Let us know in the comments section below.

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