Adam Back Appointed Blockstream CEO in Leadership Shake-Up

Stan Higgins
Oct 3, 2016 at 16:59 UTC
Updated Oct 4, 2016 at 19:23 UTC

Bitcoin startup Blockstream has a new CEO.

The company said today that its first CEO, Austin Hill, is formally stepping aside, with current president Adam Back being appointed to the role.

As part of Hill’s exit from the firm, he has also stepped down from the board. Blockstream said that Hill was leaving the company to “pursue other opportunities”.

Back, a noted cryptographer who is one of the startup’s founders, said in a statement:

“I am honored to take on the CEO position at this important phase in the company’s growth and am excited about leading Blockstream to its full potential. We have a world­class team dedicated to building the foundation that will underpin the transformation of finance for years to come.”

It’s been a busy year for Blockstream, which announced $55m in new funding in February. To date, the startup has raised more than $70m in venture capital in order to support its efforts to develop bitcoin-focused initiatives such as sidechains and the Lightning network.

Hill’s exit comes as the startup has moved to bolster its developer ranks. Earlier this summer, Blockstream acquired bitcoin wallet startup GreenAddress, which further boosted its employee base.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Blockstream.

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