The new advisory board of Xapo consists of three great financial leaders: Dee Hock, the founder of Visa, John Reed, ex-CEO of Citibank, and Lawrence H. Summers, ex-Secretary of the Treasury.

A new blog post by Wences Casares, CEO of the bitcoin wallet Xapo, generated a lot of excitement in the bitcoin community. The blog post introduces three members of the newly formed advisory board of the bitcoin company, and cites their opinions on bitcoin.

The first is 86-year-old Dee Hock, creator of Visa, “responsible for effectively creating payment systems as we know them today”, according to Casares. He said:

“We live in the 21st century but are still using command and control organizational structures from the 16th century. Bitcoin is one of the best examples of how a decentralized, peer-to-peer organization can solve problems that these dated organizations cannot.”

The second is 76-year-old John S. Reed, former CEO of Citibank, a person largely responsible for the adoption of ATMs in the United States. According to him:

“Money at its core is simply a ledger for keeping track of debts and Bitcoin is truly the best iteration of a universal ledger we’ve ever seen. The mere fact that there will never be more than 21 million bitcoins and that each bitcoin can be divided into 100 million units makes it a significant improvement on any historical form of currency.”

The third person is Larry Summers, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton. He said we might soon see “many billions of people sending bitcoin everyday as easily as they currently send a text message”.

While Larry Summers is known to be a bitcoin sympathizer (CoinFox wrote about his speech given at the American Museum of Finance on Wall Street in New York in which he praised bitcoin technology), the endorsement of the cryptocurrency by Hock and Reed greatly impressed the bitcoin community. Many Redditors mentioned they used the announcement to convince their family members or friends who have been previously skeptical about bitcoin. Some even exclaimed:

“How did we get here!?”

However, a number of Redditors were disappointed that the announcement did not, as they expected, push the bitcoin price up. One of them wrote:

“Xapo paying old guys to talk up bitcoin won't really do much for the price in the short term.”

Another Reddit user even suggested that Xapo made the move to conceal their inability to do anything in bitcoin space.

“Probably because everything they have tried so far hasn't taken off but they had a recent round so they have some extra cash for throwing at the wall.”

Xapo is not the only cryptocurrency company to employ high-ranking officials. As CoinFox already wrote, in January 2015, Ripple Labs added Gene Sperling, an ex-economic advisor to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and one of the 100 most powerful people in global finance according to Worth Magazine, to its Board of Directors. In March, he was followed by Anja Manuel, a former employee of the U.S. Department of State in India and Middle East, who became an advisor to the company.


Alexey Tereshchenko