PayPal forms advisory council of leading experts on blockchain and crypto

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Fin is a former junior editor at TechForge.

Payments giant PayPal has formed a cross-disciplinary team of industry experts as part of its new advisory council on blockchain, crypto, and digital currencies.

The move comes as part of the company’s ambitions to lead the way towards a more affordable and efficient digital financial system through blockchain technologies.

Made up of six experts from across the cryptocurrency, technology, and economics industries, the Blockchain, Crypto, and Digital Currencies (BCDC) council will help PayPal to refine current and design future products.

The team is made up of Fortress Investment Group co-CEO Peter Briger, Georgetown University Law Center professor Chris Brummer, Weizmann Institute of Science professor Shafi Goldwasser, former Commodity Futures Trading Commission chair Timothy Massad, MIT Sloan School of Management finance professor Antoinette Schoar, and MIT Digital Currency Initiative director Neha Narula.

Jose Fernandez da Ponte, PayPal’s senior vice president and general manager for Blockchain, Crypto and Digital Currencies, said: “We believe it is crucial to engage with the world’s best leaders to better understand the industry’s most compelling opportunities and complex challenges.”

Collectively the council carries decades of experience in the blockchain space from both a business and regulatory perspective.

Goldwasser, for example, was part of the group of MIT researchers that proposed a zero-knowledge proof encryption scheme prior to crypto’s emergence with Bitcoin in 2009.

Massad served as chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) under President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017, whilst Brummer was a reported candidate for the role under the Biden administration.

For now, the exact details of the council’s purpose at PayPal remains unclear. Considering the company’s continuous development in the space, be that through allowing users to checkout with crypto or reports of a stablecoin under development, The Block expects it to advise future expansion efforts.

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