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Swiss Blockchain Exchange SDX Hires ConsenSys Startup Boss to Head Business

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  • Swiss Blockchain Exchange SDX Hires ConsenSys Startup Boss to Head Business

    Tim Grant, formerly the CEO of ConsenSys-backed startup DrumG Technologies, is to become head of business at Swiss blockchain-based stock exchange SDX.

    SDX, the digital asset trading venue being built from the ground up by Swiss stock exchange operator SIX Group, had been searching for a new leader to take over from interim CEO Thomas Kindler. As the new head of business, Grant fills that role, a spokesman for SDX confirmed.

    Grant has also previously served as CEO of the R3 Lab and Research Centre. SDX selected R3’s Corda platform to supply the DLT infrastructure for the new digital asset exchange in March of 2019.

    “I am very excited to join the leadership team at SDX as they aim to launch the world’s first end-to-end digital exchange,” said Grant in a statement. “The team has already made huge progress and I’m looking forward to contributing my experience and working with our institutional clients around the work to continue the growth and expansion of the next generation of financial market infrastructure.”

    It’s unclear where this leaves Grant’s other venture, DrumG. The startup, which aimed to create interoperability between enterprise versions of ethereum and R3’s Corda network, had raised some $6.5 million in Series A funding from ConsenSys back in October 2018, and Joe Lubin, CEO of the ethereum studio, had joined DrumG’s board of directors.

    As recently as last September, Grant was taking to the stage espousing the merits of DrumG Technologies, which employs about 20 staff across offices in New York, London and Bermuda.

    However, ConsenSys appears to be re-calibrating its outgoings and has been forced to cut staff this year from some parts of its operations.

    Neither Grant, DrumG nor ConsenSys returned requests for comment on the state of the venture by press time.

    Bumpy road

    The past 18 months have been something of a bumpy road for SDX. The project was forced to delay its role-out, slated for summer 2019, until around the end of this year.

    In addition, Ivo Sauter, SDX’s head of clients and products, and Sven Roth, its chief digital officer, both left their full-time positions in January, with a “dis-alignment” from the project’s original goals being cited after original SDX chief Martin Halblaub departed last summer.

    Tomas Kindler, who was filling in for Halblaud, expressed a wish to take a senior position within the main exchange group, according to a SIX spokesman. Kindler would help oversee the planned integration of Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME), the Spanish stock exchange SIX has bid for.

    “Tim has a comprehensive background in both the new and old worlds of capital markets innovation,” said Thomas Zeeb, head Securities & Exchanges at SIX Group, and chairman of SDX, said in a statement.

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