Veteran CIO Paul Johnson joins decentralized bank ahead of ICO - The Industry Spread

Ricardo Esteves

Ricardo Esteves has seen business and economics through many lenses. He joined the Financial Services Industry in 2009, and has been a financial journalist since 2011. He holds a degree in Business Administration and has experience producing real-time news, from both buy-side and sell-side, as well as for retail traders, brokers and service providers. Esteves' work has appeared in a variety of online publications including FX Street and FinanceFeeds.

BABB

Veteran CIO Paul Johnson joins decentralized bank ahead of ICO

January 9, 2018
Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson, CIO at BABB

Blockchain-based banking startup BABB (Bank Account Based Blockchain), an innovative banking solution based in decentralized ledger, announced the appointment of banking technology veteran Paul Johnson as CIO to spearhead the development of the world’s first decentralized bank.

With the appointment, the company that intends to develop a decentralized bank powered by blockchain technology that will enable anyone in the world access to a bank account for peer-to-peer financial services, will be able to make the best out of the raised capital in its token sale, with a pre-sale starting 15 January.

Paul Johnson has previously lead one of the UK’s leading challenger banks, Aldermore, where he oversaw the bank’s IPO in 2015 and led its asset expansion over a four-year tenure. Now, Johnson plans to transform the retail banking industry by joining BABB. His immediate tasks will be to ensure BABB is fully technically compliant with UK banking regulations as it works towards its UK banking licence. BABB is already an FCA Authorised Payment Institution (API).

Paul Johnson said: “I can only see blockchain technology as the next step in the evolution of payments and asset transfer in the future. 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.

“I believe that BABB will not just be a mobile banking platform, but a bank with a platform that can provide peer-to-peer financial services to everyone around the world, especially the unbanked”, Jonhson added.

Rushd Averroes, Founder and CEO of BABB
Rushd Averroes, Founder and CEO of BABB

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

“We know that regulators would appreciate Paul’s experience from the existing banking community and we’re grateful to have him on board to help us navigate the complexities of UK fiscal and regulatory policy. While blockchain is not entirely unregulated, it is how we will use a blockchain database that will impact regulation,” added Averroes.

BABB will use smart contracts on consortium blockchain, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and biometrics to create a next-generation banking solution. Users of BABB will be able to interact other users around the world at a low cost, in a trusted environment created by digital identity verification. The mobile app will make it easy to send, receive, lend and borrow money across borders and exchange currencies, all in a peer-to-peer manner with no middlemen.

Johnson is also an Independent Non-Executive Director at Sonali Bank, a leading commercial bank in Bangladesh and the largest bank in the country. His understanding of formulating global solutions that meet a variety of cultural, behavioural and regulatory requirements will also be useful to fulfil BABB’s mission in building partnerships with central banks to allow for the integration and issuance of other digital currencies on the platform.

2 billion – or 40 per cent of the global adult population – have no bank account or mobile money services, according to the World Bank’s 2014 report on Measuring Financial Inclusion Around the World.

BABB’s platform aims to enable anyone anywhere in the world, who can be verified by “taking a selfie and humming a tune”, to open a UK bank account and manage it via a smartphone app set to launch in early 2018.

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