By Christie Harkin
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Jon Matonis has joined First Global Credit Board as a non-executive director where he will play an advisory role related to strategic direction, security, due diligence and other matters.
First Global Credit is a finance company that focuses exclusively on digital currency products. Its aim is to bridge the gap between bitcoin and fiat currencies through trading services, debt instruments, merchant services and other strategies.
In a press statement, Gavin Smith, chief executive and founding director of First Global Credit said, “We are delighted to welcome Jon to the board; we have found we share a mutual vision for both the future of bitcoin and how First Global Credit will fit into that ecosystem. Jon’s comprehensive knowledge and connections within the Bitcoin community will be extremely beneficial to the growth and development of the business.”
Matonis, a founding board member and former executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation, has an extensive career in finance and Bitcoin. His resume includes prior positions as CEO of HushMail and Director of Financial Services at VeriSign. A high-profile figure and thought leader in the digital currency community, he also serves on the boards or advisory boards of several other companies in the space, including BitGame Labs, BitPay, GoCoin and CoinDesk.
“There are a lot of companies that maintain bitcoin on their books,” Matonis said in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine. “Those bitcoins usually sit there dormant or even depreciating in value. What First Global does is offer to collateralize those bitcoins so that they can actually get a return.”
Matonis gave the example of online gaming. Traditional casino operators are able to get a return on their floats. But up until now, bitcoin casinos have not been able to do this. First Global offers them an opportunity to generate a yield, said Matonis.
“I’m also excited by the ability to use bitcoin assets as collateral for trading in the futures and options markets,” Matonis added. “Currently, T-bills can be used as collateral on various exchanges, but no one has structured it with bitcoin. First Global Credit plans to add futures markets as one of the markets available via their program.”
“Jon has the big picture,” said Marcie Terman, communications director for First Global. “He has the Bitcoin background and the financial background. He can look at our systems and make sure they are as robust as possible. It will be great to have him as a resource to speak on our behalf with government bodies.
Matonis has presented at conferences across the world on bitcoin and its disruptive economic implications to a wide variety of audiences, including members of the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, European Central Bank, SWIFT, IRS, DHS, payment networks, major financial institutions,, hedge funds and family offices.
Terman also expressed a hope that Matonis would be helpful in bringing in outside financing as the company starts to look outward for equity participation.
“The Bitcoin market is at a pivotal stage in its development,” Matonis said “Having been adopted as a transaction currency by many, the next necessary step in bitcoin’s evolution is to prove itself as a true investment vehicle, an instrument with a fully functioning capital market.”
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