By CCN: IBM’s head of blockchain Jesse Lund has reportedly left the company. Lund previously predicted the Bitcoin price could hit $1 million within our lifetime, citing the scarcity and growth of interest in the space.
Lund told Coindesk that he is “still optimistic” about blockchain as a payments platform. He helped create the IBM World Wire platform in partnership with Stellar, which has so far made numerous in-roads with notable banks.
“Yes, I’ve left IBM but am still optimistic about payments innovation using Blockchain.”
IBM is one of many companies working on cross-border payment solutions for banks and financial institutions. Lund had previously been part of R3, a consortium of banks like Wells Fargo (where he was previously employed), which picked up Mike Hearn after he quit Bitcoin development.
Lund or IBM gave no explanation for his exit.
Bitcoin has recently been bullish. Interest in blockchain is returning.
A few weeks ago, Lund commented on an article about Microsoft and JP Morgan Chase partnering, saying:
“Great to see more major players piling on this use case as we approach the tipping point of transforming global financial services. What’s next is an extended solution to bring open fungibility of liquidity and FX across major banking institutions… I wonder if any other big players are working toward that(?!)!”
Lund’s position at IBM remains the last one on his LinkedIn profile, indicating that he hasn’t moved to some other blockchain company.
Another executive in IBM’s blockchain division, Jerry Cuomo, remains. According to his biography, Cuomo invented the “someone is typing” technology now used in most instant messaging applications.
“Jerry holds the prestigious title of IBM Fellow, which is the highest technical position at IBM, pioneering emerging technology projects in the areas of Blockchain, API Economy, Mobile computing, Cloud computing, Web Application Servers, Integration Software, Java, Instant Messaging Software, filling over 65 US patents across these areas. Jerry’s most visible patent is the first use of the “Someone is typing…” indicator found in instant messaging applications. This invention is used by billions of users around the world every day, via their iPhones, MSFT’s Messenger, and IBM’s Sametime.”
Jess Lund’s ambitious predictions for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are shared by many in the industry but could be a long ways off in reality. Lund had previously said:
“I have a long-term outlook. […] It goes back to that discussion about the utility of the network with a higher price. I see Bitcoin at a million dollars someday. I like that number because if Bitcoin’s at a million dollars, then the satoshi is on value parity with the US penny. And that means there’s over $20 trillion of liquidity in this network. Think about $20 trillion in liquidity and how that changes things like corporate payments.”
The prediction is based on the idea that a substantial portion of the world’s wealth will be concentrated in decentralized ledger technologies. At present, the various assets in the class are at best exotic and volatile.