Ex-BoE exec to chair blockchain settlement project

Sir David Walker, formerly of the Bank of England, will chair new settlement technology venture founded by Peter Randall.

A former Bank of England (BoE) executive director has joined a blockchain-based settlement start-up founded by Peter Randall, the ex-CFO and founder of Chi-X.

SETL was launched by Randall in July 2015 and is a system dersigned to enable market participants to move cash and assets directly using the blockchain technology popularised by digital currency Bitcoin.

Sir David Walker, formerly of the BoE, will serve as chairman of SETL. As well as his work at the central bank, he also served as chairman of Barclays, Morgan Stanley International and the Securities and Investment Board, and has previously worked in the UK Treasury.

Commenting on his appointment, Walker said: “I am very pleased to accept this position with SETL.  Blockchain is an important advance in settlement technology and SETL has a compelling proposition for its deployment.  By simplifying the process of payments and settlement SETL should be able to deliver significant operational efficiencies which will benefit all market participants and, most importantly, reduce costs borne by savers and investors.”

Randall added that Walker’s experience with the Bank of England will be invaluable in ensuring SETL works effectively to transfer central bank money.

SETL has also hired Professor Philip Bond as head of its Cryptography and Cyber Security Committee. Bond will assemble an advisory group to look at the design and implementation of cryptographic methods to enhance the security of the SETL system. Bond is visiting professor in the Departments of Engineering mathematics and Computer Science at Bristol University, and a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford. He has also spent time as an arbitrage trader in various City institutions.

“While blockchain technology has been around for years, information security remains a big issue, especially when moving central bank money. Phillip’s background means we can ensure we get a robust framework in place and utilise the necessary controls,” explained Randall.

The appointments will commence once SETL has finished its current fundraising, which Randall expects to be completed imminently.