Crypto Wallet Provider Blockchain Hires Former U.S. Secret Service Director

Omar Faridi
  • Blockchain Ltd. appointed former U.S. Secret Service deputy assistant director George Sax as head of global security.
  • Sax was previously in charge of securing the United States’ “financial infrastructure.”

George Sax, former Deputy Assistant Director of the U.S. Secret Service, was recently appointed global head of security at UK-based crypto firm Blockchain Ltd. The U.S. Secret Service operates within the Department of Homeland Security, a governmental body focused on combating terrorism.

Before joining Blockchain, Sax managed the Secret Service’s Investigations department and was in charge of security during the U.S. presidential elections in 2016. Blockchain reportedly chose the security executive because of crypto users’ increasing concerns about digital asset exchanges still being vulnerable to hackers.

Developing Blockchain’s “Security Philosophy”

Notably, Sax has over 25 years of experience working as a security expert and his duties have included ensuring the safety of U.S. citizens. The team at Blockchain noted that Sax recently led a global team of more than 2,000 investigators in uncovering financial crimes orchestrated over the internet.

Sax had also been tasked with securing the United States’ “financial infrastructure”, which involved implementing “comprehensive” cybersecurity measures. Now, as global head of security at Blockchain, the specialist will further develop the crypto wallet provider’s “security philosophy” by “focusing on operations, infrastructure, and product security.”

He will also draw on his extensive experience in “physical and personal security” to help Blockchain Ltd. create a more secure and trusted platform for its users. Peter Smith, Blockchain’s CEO and co-founder, stated:

George is a recognized security leader with decades of valuable experience protecting the most important people, infrastructure and systems in the United States. We are proud to welcome him to Blockchain and for him to lead our security efforts as we continue to make crypto safe and easy to use for everyone.

Peter Smith

Managing Security At “High-Risk Events”

During his career, Sax has been in charge of the “executive protection” of several American Presidents, including the security and safety of their families. Additionally, he has managed the security of “high-risk events” such as the U.S. presidential inauguration in 2017.

Currently, Blockchain Ltd offers support for over 26 million cryptocurrency wallets belonging to users in 140 different countries. By using the popular wallet, users can buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Ethereum (ETH).

The team at Blockchain noted the company now has more clients than established American brokerage firms like Charles Schwab. Sax’s recent appointment as head of security appears to be part of the company’s ongoing efforts to expand its operations. The firm recently launched Blockchain Principal Strategies (BPS), a product for institutional investors.

Binance CEO Sues VC Firm Sequoia for Reputational Damages

Francisco Memoria

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of leading cryptocurrency exchange binance, has reportedly sued well-reputed venture capital firm Sequoia over reputational damages allegedly caused by a lawsuit the VC firm filed against Binance that was dismissed.

According to a filing submitted to the High Court in Hong Kong that was obtained by CoinDesk, Changpeng Zhao, referred to as CZ, claims Sequoia Capital China, a unit of Sequoia, significantly damaged his reputation and is looking for compensation.

This, according to the CEO, prevented him from raising money at a proper valuation for Binance. Sequoia reportedly damaged his reputation through a lawsuit filed in April of last year over a funding deal that went awry.

A hearing for the case is set to take place on June 25 between CZ and SCC Venture VI, a special purpose vehicle of Sequoia Capital China. An inquiry to determine whether Zhao “sustained any and what damages” is being demanded, over an injunction order Sequoia obtained in late 2017 that reportedly prevented CZ from raising funds in March of 2018.

Sequoia’s initial lawsuit was dismissed by the Hong Kong High Court, with the VC firm having to repay Binance the legal fees required for its legal representative.

In the filing, the CEO of Binance stated:

The injunction order has caused loss to me for which I am entitled to reasonable compensation by Sequoia. In particular, I have suffered i) a loss of chance to raise capital through successive rounds of financing at increasing high valuations; and ii) damage to my reputation.

Sequoia is notably seen as one of the most well-reputed venture capital firms focusing on tech startups, and available data shows it operates 22 funds across the globe and raised $15.3 billion so far.

Meanwhile, Binance has been going through a rough few weeks. The exchange was hacked for 7,000 BTC earlier this month, and considered rolling back the Bitcoin blockchain to recover the stolen funds, a move that saw him be heavily criticized on social media.

Binance recently published an extensive blog post recapping the incident that detailed hackers managed to control a number of Binance user accounts and structured large withdrawals from these. More recently, various users complained they lost funds after experiencing lag on the trading platform.