We are excited to announce that Blockstream's board of directors has unanimously appointed the company's co-founder Dr. Adam Back as CEO of the company. Adam replaces outgoing CEO Austin Hill, who recently stepped down from the board to pursue other opportunities.
"Adam has extensive practical experience building teams and shipping products as shown by his track record at organizations large and small, such as Microsoft, PI, EMC, and VMware," said Paul Maritz, Chairman, Pivotal, and former CEO of VMware and senior executive with aforementioned companies. "This is on top of also having an extraordinarily deep technical background in all aspects of cryptography and being the inventor of Hashcash, one of the core concepts used in Bitcoin."
Adam is a world-renowned applied cryptographer, bringing over two decades of experience working on the most advanced science and technology in the fields of e-cash, digital currencies, distributed computing, and privacy technology. He is best known for his invention of Hashcash, a proof-of-work system used to limit email spam and denial-of-service attacks and that is used in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as part of the mining algorithm.
Adam is Blockstream's co-founder, and previously held the roles of President and COO. He focused on building a world-class team, contributed to the company's product and technical vision, and oversaw daily operations of widely distributed team of 40 across ten countries. He is one of the authors of "Enabling Blockchain Innovations with Pegged Sidechains," the October 2014 paper that formed the basis for Blockstream. Adam played a central role with our growing group of enterprise customers and partners, including PwC, as well as individual users of GreenAddress.
Adam is a strong advocate for Bitcoin. He has spent considerable time and effort over the past several years working closely with a broad range of people across Bitcoin's user, academic, technical, investor, and business communities from North America, Asia, and Europe. He is one of the principal sponsors of the Scaling Bitcoin workshops; the first event to bring together the technical community working on Bitcoin. Adam advises a number of other cryptocurrency and Bitcoin startups, sharing his expertise and knowledge in an effort to foster a diverse and dynamic ecosystem.
"I am honored to take on the CEO position and am excited about driving Blockstream to reach its full potential," said Adam. "We have a world-class and dedicated team building the foundations that will underpin the transformation of financial systems."
Before co-founding Blockstream, Adam was a co-founder of Pi Corporation, a cloud infrastructure provider that was later acquired by EMC where he went on to be the Chief Security Officer of its consumer division. He has held senior roles with a number of companies, including Microsoft, EMC, PI, VMware, and Zero-Knowledge Systems, as well as advised many more companies on cryptography and e-cash. Adam received his Ph.D. in distributed systems and computer science from the University of Exeter.