Former Trump Aide and Goldman Sachs Exec Gary Cohn Joins Blockchain Startup


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Gary Cohn, a former chief economic aide to President Trump and president of Goldman Sachs, will join the blockchain startup Spring Labs as an advisor, Bloomberg reports.

Joining the Board

Spring Labs plans to utilize the blockchain to implement a more efficient and secure exchange of credit and identity information between lenders and data providers and believes that Cohn’s financial expertise will help them build their product. Spring Labs co-founder and CEO Adam Jiwan told Bloomberg in an interview:

“We envision him playing a role around helping us think through for developing something that’s regulatory compliant and that others need to see in order to adapt it.” 

Cohn echoed that sentiment in an interview with the Financial Times on Oct. 12 saying his goal is to help Spring Labs get their new technology accepted and adopted.

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Other members of the Spring Labs advisory board include executives from Transunion, Coinbase, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and Capital One.

According to the Financial Times, Cohn has a stake in the company, though the report did not disclose how much of it he owns. In the official release regarding his new advisory board position, he revealed that blockchain is a long-held interest of his and stated:

“I have been very interested in blockchain technology for a number of years, and Spring Labs is developing a network that could have profound implications for the financial services sector, among others.”

Spring Labs already has $15M in startup funding, according to data from Crunchbase, and Jiwan said the company does not plan to utilize an ICO for additional funding, though they “might deploy a digital asset.”

Digitizing an Analog Industry

Although Cohn has expressed interest in blockchain related ventures in the past and favors the idea of combining the blockchain with banking, he’s come out as skeptical of Bitcoin. But he has gone on record that a global cryptocurrency is possible, and in an interview with CNBC in May he said:

“I do think we will have a global cryptocurrency at some point where the world understands it and it’s not based on mining costs or cost of electricity or things like that.”

In an interview with the Financial Times, Cohn said that the partnership with Spring Labs represents a unique opportunity to,

“Take a very, very analog industry and digitize it.”

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