Elliptic Welcomes Aboard Bitcoin Foundation’s Former Exec

By February 20, 2015Bitcoin Business
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Elliptic Welcomes Aboard Bitcoin Foundation’s Former Exec

Former Bitcoin Foundation Membership Director, Kevin Beardsley, will join Elliptic where he will be in charge of growth with investment funds and trading firms that are looking to securely store bitcoin and blockchain assets.

 “Elliptic curves are the mathematical objects that provide the basis for Bitcoin's public key cryptography.”

  - Elliptic CTO, Dr. Adam Joyce

Elliptic is also the name given to the London based enterprise startup, which provides deep cold security storage for enterprises known as Elliptic Vault.

The company was founded by three British PhD graduates: Dr. Tom Robinson (COO, PhD in Atomic and Laser Physics from the University of Oxford), Dr. James Smith (CEO, PhD in Computer Science, Machine Translation from the University of Oxford) and Dr. Adam Joyce (CTO, PhD in Mathematics, Elliptic Curves and Modular Forms from Imperial College).  

Adam Joyce, Tom Robinson and James Smith
-- Adam Joyce, Tom Robinson and James Smith

James, Tom and Adam made their careers in financial services and startups prior to launching Elliptic. Within one year, Elliptic's client base has grown to include investment funds and publicly listed firms representing more than US$3 billion in market cap. In July 2014, Elliptic closed a US$2 million seed round backed by Octopus Investments. With the funding, Elliptic is further developing their product offering and expanding their team.

Enter new hire Kevin Beardsley. Kevin was formerly the Membership Director at the Bitcoin Foundation where he was hired by Jon Matonis, the former Bitcoin Foundation Founding Board Director and Forbes Columnist renowned for his early writings on Digital Cash and being a ‘pen pal’ of Satoshi.

During Kevin’s time at The Bitcoin Foundation he worked closely with Bitcoin companies globally and introduced Bitcoin to traditional financial service companies throughout Europe. At Elliptic, he will be responsible for leading Elliptic's growth with investment funds and trading firms that wish to custody bitcoin and blockchain assets.

Kevin BeardsleyKevin Beardsley

“Kevin’s experience will further our commitment to delivering both best in class technology and deep operational expertise in the financial services industry,” said Elliptic CEO, Dr. James Smith.

Kevin Beardsley stated:

“At Elliptic, we believe that even the best technology is only ever half of the solution. We take the time to make sure the operational details are right, which includes things like onboarding fund administrators, educating management teams, and working with local regulators.”  

The challenges associated with securing private keys and blockchain assets are being addressed in real time, and on a global scale. Startups around the world, like Elliptic, are pioneering technology and processes that will set the stage for a new generation of blockchain asset storage.

“And Private Key Management is the Challenge. It’s the single most important part of holding bitcoin: safeguarding the private keys,” adds CTO Dr. Adam Joyce. “There are a series of sensible security choices companies should do, in a technological point of view. Elliptic augments these best practices, with policies and procedure aspects as well.”

Elliptic obtained ISAE 3402 accreditation – a global standard for financial reporting – from Big Four auditing specialist KPMG. The review, known as ISAE 3402 Type 1  (SOC 1/2 review in the US) scrutinizes areas including internal access controls, financial controls, regulatory compliance (including AML and KYC), disaster recovery, code deployment, segregation of duties and offline bitcoin storage techniques.

There are two approaches firms take to safeguard bitcoin private keys: 3rd party vaults such as Elliptic Vault and multi-signature. Multi-Signature accounts have multiple, unique private keys for each account rather than 1 private key per account. A pre-determined number of the account’s private keys must be submitted before a transaction is authorized.

“You can be as technically clever as you like, but there is still a human element to managing private keys,” says Dr. Adam Joyce. “Crypto is not the be all or end all of everything. It’s crypto and the human use of crypto.” 

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