Thiel-Backed BlockFi Onboards Former American Express and Credit Suisse Execs

New-York based crypto lending startup BlockFi has hired two traditional finance executives in a move to expand both its institutional and consumer-facing products. The company, which announced a $30 million funding round in February, on Tuesday, revealed Wittney Rachlin as its new chief growth officer, and David Olsson is its global managing director.

Olsson To Lead BlockFi’s Pushing To Win More Business In Europe

In the announcement regarding its $30 million funding, the company said it had a clientele of about 50 institutions, adding that it plans to expand that base through an Asian expansion. Olsson, who joins from Credit Suisse, will oversee the growth of the company’s institutional services, including business development, risk management, and sales strategy throughout the European and Asian markets, BlockFi said.

It is worth noting that Asia has been essential to the development of the crypto market. Cedric Jeanson, CEO of Singapore crypto hedge fund BitSpread, once said that Family offices and assets managers in the continent are reportedly a big driver of Bitcoin liquidity.

Having led an EMEA-focused team in his earlier roles, Olsson joins BlockFi with the know-how of Asian business development.

Rachlin To Spearhead Consumer Product Growth

One of BlockFi’s goals is to build consumer products that offer the familiar experience of traditional financial products. The company believes it is one of the ways to fast-track the adoption of Bitcoin. As part of that, BlockFI is currently developing a Bitcoin reward card slated to launch in the second half of the year. Cardholders will earn Bitcoin for dollar-denominated qualified spending.

Having led card operations teams at American Express for over 11 years, Rachlin joins BlockFi with an understanding of the inner working of the traditional credit card system.

BlockFi is not the only company working on a Bitcoin reward card, though. Earlier in April, crypto startup Fold announced that it had partnered with Visa to issue a Bitcoin reward card, which is similar in description to BlockFi’s.

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