Swiss Bank UBS Latest to See Key Blockchain Lead Depart

Pete Rizzo
Aug 18, 2016 at 13:50 UTC
Updated Aug 18, 2016 at 13:59 UTC
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UBS has become the latest major bank to see a significant departure from its blockchain innovation team.

Innovation lab lead and ‘crypto 2.0’ researcher Alex Batlin will depart the firm in October, Financial News reportsThe article cites an internal memo from the bank’s head of innovation dated August 17.

During his tenure at the bank, Batlin served as a mentor to FinTech startups at Level39, an R&D lab set up by UBS that served as a key vehicle for it to explore distributed ledgers and cryptocurrencies. Batlin also headed the firm’s analysis of the impact of these technologies on the bank’s business model.

According to the report, the memo asserts that UBS does not intend to shift its blockchain strategy, and that the move isn’t part of any cutbacks on innovation in this area at the bank.

The memo reads:

“There is no change to our focus and approach on blockchain technology. We are reviewing the options for internal and external candidates to lead the next phase of the programme and to extend our Level39 lab activities beyond blockchain as we move forward.”

With the news, UBS joins a list of financial firms including BNP Paribas, Deloitte, JPMorgan and State Street that have seen blockchain subject matter experts depart in recent months.

Read our latest feature interview with Batlin here.

Image via UBS

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