Former Nike CIO Anthony Watson to Join Bitcoin Startup BitReserve

Former Nike CIO Anthony Watson joins Bitreserve.

Photo via @Anthony Watson.

Photo via @Anthony Watson.

Nike Inc. has reported that it’s former CIO Anthony Watson is joining Bitreserve as President and COO. It turned out that Watson was unhappy in the Portland area. He experienced a “culture shock” while living in Portland and working in Beaverton, where Nike is based.

When Watson left Nike, he realized that he will only be happy living in big cities like New York, Los Angeles, or London. Now, he will live in Los Angeles but travel constantly, mostly between San Francisco and London. The company has offices in San Francisco, London, Portugal, Shanghai, and Charleston, South Carolina.

Before Nike, Watson was working as CIO of Europe, Middle East, and global operations at Barclays. While working at Nike, he was eager to get back into the banking world so that to help change what he sees as an unjust financial system.

“I was itching to make an impact. I wanted to do something that is valuable for people broadly, not just in one industry. And what Bitreserve is looking to achieve really democratizes finance. It’s going to help people all over the world. The financial system is inherently unfair—it’s always the richest who have access, and the poorest don’t have access, or when they do, they have to pay astronomical rates,” commented Watson.

As you all know, Bitreserve, that was founded by Halsey Minor several months ago, transfers deposits of Bitcoin into other currencies and allows customers to send and receive money anywhere in the world for very low fees. At the moment the service offers eight currencies: dollar, euro, pound, franc, yen, yuan, rupee, and peso. Besides, it offers commodities — the metals gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

“What I think is so revolutionary here is that it can allow you to trade in any commodity. Right now it’s metals, but it could be cocoa beans. The broader vision is much bigger than digital currencies,” Watson shared his opinion on digital currency and Bitreserve.

Anthony Watson is an outspoken gay rights activist and GLAAD boardmember. According to Halsey Minor, that is something that played a big part in the hire:

“I think we’re perfect for him and he’s perfect for us. Our business is money, and he has an extraordinary amount of experience and success in banking. But also, our ethos is inclusion. He’s a leader in social inclusion. So from my standpoint I don’t think we could have found anyone better.”

“There appears to be some sort of implied suspicion around [bitcoin] and around anyone doing anything new with money in the U.S. That doesn’t exist in the rest of the world. There’s a desperate need in the U.S. to change the attitude toward new financial systems,” he added.

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