Bitfury Hires a CEO for Its Blockchain-Sleuthing Service

Bitfury has hired a CEO for Crystal, its service that examines public blockchains for criminal transactions, and a head of software sales.

AccessTimeIconJan 22, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:49 a.m. UTC

Blockchain technology firm Bitfury is looking to reinforce its software unit with two executive-level hires.

Announced today, Marina Khaustova, former chief marketing officer and co-founder of Element Capital Group, has joined Bitfury as the CEO of Crystal Blockchain, the company's analytical tool for investigating public blockchain transactions. Meanwhile, Chris Dickson, previously at enterprise software vendor Panaya, joined Bitfury as head of software sales.

Both are newly created positions, underscoring the increasing importance of diversified software offerings to Bitfury, which started in 2012 as a bitcoin mining operation. It entered the enterprise blockchain software business in 2017 with the launch of Exonum, its blockchain infrastructure aimed at enterprise users. Also in 2017, Bitfury launched an app for payments on bitcoin's layer 2 lightning network.

Then last year, the company rolled out Crystal, a service that looks for signs of criminal activity on the blockchain for law enforcement, financial institutions and cybersecurity clients.

"After a year of growing interest in the product, we are bringing Marina on board to help take it to the next level,” John Mercurio, Bitfury's chief communications officer, told CoinDesk.

At Element, an investment bank focused on tokenization and cryptocurrency capital markets, Khaustova developed the go-to-market strategy for U.S. blockchain companies and advised token sales. Earlier, she founded and led several digital advertising startups in Russia and the U.S., the last one being  Los Angeles-based AdtoApp, according to her LinkedIn profile.

In a press release, Khaustova said that in her new role, she will "build a compliant bridge between digital assets and the traditional financial system."

Dickson was an executive vice president of Americas supervising salesat Panaya. Before that, he led Verizon Enterprise Solutions' expansion in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and for more than six years served at leading roles at CA Technologies, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Bitfury recently managed to attract some prominent experts from the world of traditional finance to its team: in November, Antoine Dresch, co-founder of tech investment fund Korelya Capital, joined the startup's board of directors, and Annette Nazareth, a former member of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, joined Bitfury’s advisory board.

BitFury image — courtesy of Bitfury


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