Hans-Ole Jochumsen, who retired last fall as vice president of NASDAQ Europe, joined the advisory committee of the Concordium Foundation, the Swiss non-profit that developed a cryptocurrency with an integrated compliance function.
Unveiled exclusively for CoinDesk, Jochumsen will drive Concordium's compliance efforts, providing expertise in tax matters, know-your-customer (KYC) practices and origin of transactions.
The stock market veterinarian told CoinDesk that he was already interested in blockchain technology while working at NASDAQ and was involved in "multiple activities and projects" related to technology, such as blockchain-based electronic voting for shareholders of the Estonian branch of NASDAQ . He explained he saw the promise of blockchain technology to radically reduce the cost and time of global transactions for the industry in which he worked for decades.
"Many people forget that what we see with financial institutions is that you have a very complicated configuration, every county has its own approach and if you need to do something globally, it is extremely complicated, and even if the task is finally solved , someone has to pay for it, and it's the customer, "Jochumsen told CoinDesk. "In Concordium, there's a great vision for something that the financial industry around the world needs."
Concordium, founded by former CEO and founder of Saxo Bank, Lars Seier Christensen, is working on a test blockchain and is planning to launch its testnet "within the next month," Christensen told CoinDesk.
The project aims to combine an integrated anti-money laundering (AML) and KYC function with zero knowledge encryption and compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union (GDPR). The beta launch of the mainnet is scheduled for the third quarter of 2019 and it is expected that the Concord will be fully operational in 2010, said Christensen.
Despite entering the late gaming market, Concordium's new cryptocurrency (GTU, or global transaction unit) can still gain traction for its identity control function, Christensen told CoinDesk.
"As the first engine with a strong concentration and expertise in this sector (ID / KYC), we are not late, but actually among the first to the real game, one that has not started yet, because the first generations of blockchains and cryptocurrencies do not reach a real corporate use despite all the clamor, "he said, adding:
"So the next one was starting now and this will be the moment when the true potential of public blockchain will finally begin to develop."
The Concordium research group includes cryptography specialists from the University of Aarhus in Denmark and has just added Professor Ivan Damgård, a co-inventor of the Merkle-Damgård construction, to the basis of the principles of hashing algorithms as head of cryptography.
From finance to fintech
Jochumsen spent nine years at NASDAQ, including nearly three years as president and one year as vice president for Europe, responsible for European expansion of the exchange.
Prior to NASDAQ, he served as president and CEO of the Copenhagen Stock Exchange, guiding him when he merged with his counterpart in Stockholm. He also served as president of the Scandinavian OMX exchange before being acquired by NASDAQ in 2008.
In October 2017, NASDAQ announced that Jochumsen would retire that year, after turning 60. Adena Friedman, CEO of NASDAQ, called him "a true mentor, partner and friend" in the internal memo of the exchange.
At the same time, Jochumsen told Reuters he was talking to a fintech firm in New York for a consulting role.
In fact, he soon began advising Alkymi, a startup that aimed to automate the documentation flow of financial services companies.
Now Jochumsen works as chairman of Nordax Bank AB, non-executive director of Nykredit A / S and senior advisor of Alkymi.
Image of Hans-Ole Jochumsen – courtesy of Concordium.