Newsome is more of a regulatory heavyweight, having previously served under President Bill Clinton as Chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. He’s also held the leading position at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). De Soto is currently the president of Institute for Liberty and Democracy, a rather influential thinktank based in Peru.
In both cases, BitFury seems to be aiming to add some of that hard-won knowledge one can only find in the wizened older generations. Often enough it is members of the previous generation who recognize the innovations of the current one most clearly. More often than that, it is they who fund and guide such innovations into heightened success. In de Soto, they have a renowned thinker and ardent capitalist who will likely advise them on the industry-wide ramifications of their decisions. In Newsome, they have someone intimately familiar with the regulatory waters, and may have extensive contacts throughout the government which can still be useful to the firm.
New Office in Washington, DC
Additionally, the company is establishing a new office in Washington, DC, surely ground zero for upcoming regulations on cryptocurrency. Something like the BitLicense will be much harder to get through congress than it was in New York, although various organizations in the federal government have already claimed oversight on Bitcoin regulation, including the CFTC, where Newsome used to work. Newsome took the position in stride, complimenting the efforts of BitFury:
It is an honor to be selected to serve on the Advisory Board of BitFury. The forward thinking approach by BitFury founders and management team regarding education, regulation and support for the entire Blockchain community are perfectly aligned with my views. I look forward to working with the BitFury team to continue to build upon our tremendous momentum.
Also a Technical Advisory Board
Perhaps more importantly to the Bitcoin community, BitFury has also brought on Jeff Garzik as a technical advisor and part of its new technical advisory board. Garzik’s stature as a member of the original Bitcoin Core development team and often outspoken proponent (and opponent) on Bitcoin issues lend considerable credibility to BitFury’s new board-packing strategy. Put enough great minds into a room and great things are bound to come out, seems to be the logic. Garzik seemed optimistic about the appointment, saying:
Valery Vavilov and the BitFury team impress with their engineering excellence, competent execution and a strong dedication to the Bitcoin ethos of transparency. This aligns very strongly with my own values on transparency and ethical operation, and I am very pleased to join the BitFury Advisory Board.
It seems that this is the next stage of development for the company who considers “the entire Bitcoin ecosystem” its client, moving into areas outside of mining, and interfacing with the industries it affects.
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Images from Bitfury and Shutterstock.