A former official for the UK’s Foreign Office has joined the board of blockchain startup Setl.
Martin Clements served as director general for technology and transformation at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Clements is the second high-profile UK official to join Setl’s board in the past year. Last December, the startup named former executive director of the Bank of England Sir David Walker as its chairman.
The announcement follows news that Setl is one of a group of blockchain startups recently greenlit for the startup ‘sandbox’ launched by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a finance regulator in the UK. That effort was launched in order to provide a basis for startups to test new – and potentially risky – technologies under supervision.
According to the startup, Clements will advise the startup on technology issues, drawing from his work in the areas of national and cybersecurity while working for the UK government.
Setl CEO Peter Randall said in a statement:
“We are in no doubt as to the importance of system resilience and cyber security in the payments and settlements world and the appointment of Martin is an indication that SETL will deal with these matters at board level.”
The hire is a notable example of a UK government official entering the blockchain space. For much of the past year, various agencies within the government have moved to test or support blockchain applications, following recommendations from its chief science advisor that it actively pursue ways to trial and explore the tech.