One of the earliest employees of an enterprise blockchain startup has decided to go full crypto.
Michael Haley quietly left his job as product manager at digital securities platform AlphaPoint in November to join the crypto custody provider Casa, CoinDesk has learned.
A long-time bitcoiner who began attending community meetups and participating in online discussions in 2014, he said now is the perfect time “to get back into good old bitcoin.”
Citing among other encouraging trends the blossoming of the lighting network for small bitcoin payments, Haley told CoinDesk:
“In the bear market, it’s an exciting time to get back into bitcoin. It’s never been as exciting, especially with Lightning — it’s a totally different culture, a very developer-centered culture, and a very special time.”
At Casa, Haley is a product experience lead who takes care of onboarding new clients, “making sure that the product meets their needs,” he said.
As the Casa wallet is designed to store large amounts of bitcoin, the clients need to be properly instructed and assisted to make their experience smooth and safe.
“It’s not a daily wallet where money is going in and out every day,” Haley said. “It’s a system designed to store hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin, if not millions, for long-term savings and planning. And because the stakes are so high it’s extremely important that the clients feel comfortable.”
At AlphaPoint, which he joined in 2015, Haley helped launch customers’ trading platforms, designed product features and led partnerships with CME Group and the U.K. Royal Mint.
Although he loves the AlphaPoint’s team, Haley said, he was happy to get his hands on a product dealing with a public blockchain.
The security token space, where much (though not all) of the work utilizes private blockchains, has been getting a lot of attention for the last year. But Haley said he believes that the most exciting innovations are going to happen first on the public blockchains and only after that get applied to the regulated markets.
“We think it’s an industry-wide problem, and one of the original sins of the crypto companies was that they were building the services where the end users didn’t control their keys,” Haley said.
AlphaPoint declined to comment on Haley’s departure but noted that his position had been filled by Asha Dakshinamoorthy, who joined in February from ethereum design studio ConsenSys and earlier worked as a tech strategy and blockchain consultant at Deloitte.
Image of Michael Haley — courtesy of Michael Haley.