Bitcoin services provider Xapo has appointed a number of notable businessmen to its recently inaugurated board of advisors, including founder of Visa, Dee Hock.

Joining Hock on the Xapo board are John Reed, the former chairman and CEO of Citibank; and Lawrence H. Summers, Secretary of Treasury under Bill Clinton’s administration.

The newly appointed board members praised digital currency’s potential, with Hock claiming “bitcoin represents not only the future of payments but also the future of governance”.

“We live in the 21st century but are still using command and control organisational structures from the 16th century. Bitcoin is one of the best examples of how a decentralised, peer-to-peer organisation can solve problems that these dated organisations cannot […] it presents incredible opportunities for new levels of efficiency and transparency in financial transactions,” he added.

A real opportunity

Reed said bitcoin represented a “real opportunity” for changing the existing financial structure, which he claims has remained largely untouched by the digital revolution.

Reed, who described bitcoin as “the best iteration of a universal ledger”, concluded:

“The mere fact that there will never be more than 21 million bitcoins and that each bitcoin can be divided into 100 million units makes it a significant improvement on any historical form of currency.”

Summers spoke about the digital currency’s long-term potential, noting that real-time bitcoin transactions could eventually mean people would be able to send digital currency as easily as they currently send a text message.

The announcement follows Xapo’s relocation of its headquarters to Switzerland. Speaking to CoinDesk, Wences Casares, Xapo’s CEO cited the country’s history of neutrality as a decisive factor behind the move.

Talent outreach

Xapo is not the only crypto startup recruiting talent from the White House. In January this year, Ripple Labs named Gene Sperling, an economic advisor to former President Bill Clinton and current President Barack Obama, to its board of directors.

A couple of months later, in March, the San Francisco-based startup behind the digital payment network Ripple, appointed Anja Manuel, a former US Department official as an advisor.

Notable Wall Street executives have also entered the crypto space in recent months. Ex JP Morgan Chase & Co executive Blythe Masters swapped Wall Street for Digital Asset Holdings LLC – which is believed to operate a decentralised wholesale settlement system in a bid to overhaul the traditional finance model – as chief executive.

Boardroom image via Shutterstock.

Xapo CEO Wences Casares is a confirmed speaker at Consensus, CoinDesk’s first conference. 

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