Blythe Masters takes on blockchain advisor role at Santander

Blythe Masters takes on blockchain advisor role at Santander

Blythe Masters, the former JP Morgan bigwig who now runs distributed ledger technology startup Digital Asset Holdings, has been named group senior advisor on technology and blockchain by Spanish banking giant Santander.

Masters is stepping down as chairman of Santander Consumer USA Holdings after just a year in the job to take on the newly created blockchain role. She also joins Santander's international advisory board and the board of online-only subsidiary Openbank.

Masters made her name during a long career at JPMorgan Chase, running the commodities business and helping to invent the now-infamous credit-default swap.

More recently she has become one of the most prominent players in the fast-developing world of distributed ledger technology (DLT), founding Digital Asset Holding with the "mission" to improve efficiency, security, compliance and settlement speed in the FS industry while reducing costs through the implementation of distributed ledger technology.

The startup has secured backing from across the financial services industry, with Santander InnoVentures just one of a host of Wall Street giants to join a $60 million funding round earlier this year.

Santander has been busy experimenting with DLT, recently teaming up with Ripple to pilot an app that uses the technology for international payments.

Ana Botín, executive chairman, Santander, says: "Blythe will bring her expertise in banking, business and blockchain where it will have significant impact to our digital bank, International Advisory Board and strategy team."

Masters is replaced as Santander Consumer USA Holdings chairman by William Rainer, a current board member and former CFTC chairman. This comes after the Federal Reserve reprimanded the US consumer unit for structural weaknesses in its compliance with regulatory standards.

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