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Bitcoin: What is this former Google and PayPal executive up to?

Kelly Loeffler, the CEO of Bakkt, a company focused on digital assets launched by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the largest stock exchange in the world with a market capitalization of more than $ 30 billion, has revealed that Mike Blandina, a former PayPal and Google executive, joined Bakkt as Product Director.

In a blog post published by the official Bakkt account on Medium on April 11, Loeffler wrote that “the most important aspects of the construction of Bakkt [are not] Technological”. She believes that having qualified personnel on board will help the company build innovative products “from scratch”.

Building an ecosystem of digital assets for “cases of use of payments”

Loeffler also pointed out that Blandina’s role as CPO in Bakkt will involve leading the “firm’s efforts to converge a reliable ecosystem for digital assets with use cases of payments.” He explained that these are the two key elements on which Bakkt focuses to “bring real-world application” to Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptoassets.

According to Bakkt’s announcement, Blandina has “more than 25 years of experience in payments through products, engineering, strategy and operations”. His most recent role, before joining Bakkt, involved working with OneMarket, as Technical Director of the company (CTO).

Former head of payments and credit engineering at PayPal, engineering director at Google Wallet

Blandina was also responsible for “leading products and engineering” at OneMarket. Before assuming a senior management position at OneMarket, Blandina served as Director of Payments and Credit Engineering at PayPal and also as Director of Engineering for Google Wallet at Google.

In particular, Blandina started working at Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, after the search engine giant acquired TxVia, a FinTech venture-funded company, where he served as COO and also as a member principal of the board.

Focusing on obtaining regulatory approvals

In addition to holding executive positions at Google and PayPal, Blandina served as CTO at the Blackhawk Network, a leading provider of gift card and digital payment solutions. Blandina also served as founder of “several successful technology companies,” Loeffler wrote.

His career began as a software developer for the United States Army. In particular, Blandina also previously served on the advisory board of Money2020.

Also published on Medium.

Published inCryptocurrencies
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