Jesse Lund, IBM’s global head of blockchain for financial services and digital currencies, is no longer working for the company.
A spokesperson for IBM confirmed Lund’s departure via an email to CoinDesk:
“I can confirm that Jesse Lund is no longer employed by IBM. IBM’s practice is not to discuss the specifics of employee departures.”
Reached later via LinkedIn, Lund said: “Yes, I’ve left IBM but am still optimistic about payments innovation using Blockchain.”
A former banker, Lund harbored an ambitious plan to bring cryptocurrency into the enterprise world and also to explore stablecoins and central bank digital currency.
He spearheaded IBM’s World Wire payment network which used the Stellar blockchain to help banks remove pain points from cross border payments. Lund, previously a senior vice president of innovation at Wells Fargo, had enticed six banks onto the World Wire platform including Philippines-based RCBC, Brazil’s Banco Bradesco, and Bank Busan of South Korea.
The World Wire platform has payment locations in 72 countries, with 48 currencies and 46 “banking endpoints” (which include banks and money transmitters) where people can send or receive cash, IBM said in March.
Prior to joining IBM, from mid-2015 to the start of 2017, Lund was part of the executive steering committee of distributed ledger technology (DLT) provider R3, where he helped build partnerships, and represented Wells Fargo’s interests on R3’s growing Corda platform.
Asked if Lund’s departure would affect the Stellar/ World Wire partnership, Jed McCaleb, co-founder of Stellar, told CoinDesk:
“No, we are still full steam ahead with World Wire.”
UPDATE (June 4, 15:15 UTC): This article has been updated to include a comment received after publication from Jesse Lund.
IBM pic via Shutterstock