Aussie fund manager hires blockchain co-inventor

First Digital Capital, the Australian blockchain investment manager,  has retained blockchain co-inventor W. Scott Stornetta, Ph.D. as Chief Scientist and established presences in New York, Geneva, London and Hong Kong.

First Digital Capital was founded in 2017 by a group of Australian investors, fund managers and entrepreneurs. Chairman, Deryck Graham said the firm would be the first of its kind in Australia. “We are headquartered here but we are ‘local globally’, having established ourselves in or around the key centres of blockchain fund activity,” he said. “When our first fund opens in the next few months it will be the first fund of its kind open to Australian investors, offering a regulated, professionally managed portal into the blockchain world.”

Dr. Stornetta, along with his colleague Stuart Haber, authored the core set of papers that form the foundation for the blockchain.  Nearly half of the citations in the original Bitcoin paper by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto are references to their work.

“Blockchain will be disruptive for many industries.  What we have seen to date is just the opening act,” he said. “From ICOs competing with traditional venture capital firms to the Australian Securities Exchange switching to blockchain-based settlement, the democratization of trust and transparency will have far-reaching consequences.”

Dr. Stornetta will work alongside First Digital Capital’s fund management leadership to vet potential investments and provide insight into the underlying applications.

“Blockchain is spoken about by many, understood by a few, but well executed by only a handful,” he said. “Deryck is building a great investment team. To fully grasp the space and capture value for our investors, we will now complement his work by assembling a world-class research team. There will be some surprises there, so stay tuned.”