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:
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.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.