Bitcoin guru leaves Canada's TSX to focus on blockchain venture

Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:08am EST
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By Ethan Lou

(Reuters) - The first chief digital officer of TMX Group Ltd's Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) has left the organization to devote more time to his venture based on blockchain, the technology behind the bitcoin cryptocurrency, the executive said on Monday.

Anthony Di Iorio, founder of the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada and a co-founder of Ethereum, a blockchain-based computing platform, was hired by Canada's largest stock exchange in January.

He left in September to focus on Jaxx, a universal "wallet" for holding cryptocurrencies and "tokens" that facilitate transactions in blockchain-based applications, Di Iorio said in a phone interview.

Di Iorio's hire at TSX came as stock exchanges were embracing blockchain, which allows Bitcoin users to conduct secure transactions without middlemen, as they seek to diversify and boost profit margins. When used to issue securities, the technology could potentially remove the need for clearing houses.

Jean Desgagne, chief executive of TMX's Global Enterprise Services, said in March the technology could make operations "better, faster, cheaper."

At the time, he declined to discuss specific potential uses TSX may have for blockchain, a matter that is still unclear.

TMX said it no longer has someone using that title, and that John Lee, a vice president of innovation and enterprise delivery, is now leading development of "our capability in emerging technologies, and exploring the potential of new areas such as blockchain."

Blockchain's distributed-ledger system allows users to conduct secure transactions with each other without the need for middlemen or central oversight. While long associated with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, blockchain can also be used for running applications with a wide range of purposes.   Continued...

Anthony Di Iorio is seen in his office in Toronto, in this picture taken March 2, 2016.  Di Iorio, founder of the Canadian Bitcoin Alliance and other cryptocurrency initiatives, has joined the Toronto Stock Exchange as its new chief digital officer.  Picture taken March 2, 2016.   REUTERS/Ethan Lou