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Blockchain Challenger Bank BABB Names Industry Veteran As CIO

Blockchain-based challenger bank BABB — which stands for Bank Account-Based Blockchain — has hired a new CIO.

The company said Thursday (Jan. 4) that bank technology veteran Paul Johnson will take up the position. Johnson previously served as chief of another U.K. challenger bank Aldermore, at which he oversaw its IPO in 2015. BABB is planing its own initial coin offering (ICO) later this month.

“I can only see blockchain technology as the next step in this evolution of payments and asset transfer in the future,” he said in a statement announcing his position at BABB. “The BABB proposition highlights this extremely well with the ‘everyone is a bank’ concept, and I am excited to be joining the team to build this platform.”

BABB is a startup developing a blockchain-based bank that aims to decentralize services and open up access to a bank account for individuals around the world. The company will deploy the use of smart contracts stored and transferred on blockchain, utilizing technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence and biometrics to augment its services. BABB is also developing a mobile app.

“Paul’s wealth of experience in planning for growth, resilience, cybersecurity, regulatory compliance, business operations and go-to market strategy will be of great value to BABB’s long-term vision,” said BABB Founder and CEO Rushd Averroes. “We want to enable everyone to benefit from ... banking, payments and peer-to-peer lending services regardless of their background, location or income.”

Averroes highlighted Johnson’s expertise in the area of compliance as a key benefit to BABB, adding that the company is “grateful to have him on board to help us navigate the complexities of U.K. fiscal and regulatory policy.”

“While blockchain is not entirely unregulated, it is how we will use a blockchain database that will impact regulation,” he added.

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