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Swisscom Blockchain head departs abruptly

Swisscom Blockchain head departs abruptly

The state-owned Swiss telecoms operator has branched out into blockchain technology.

Daniel Haudenschild has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of Swisscom Blockchain with immediate effect. The state-owned telecommunications group gave no reason for the shock move by the top manager and shareholder of its blockchain advisory unit.

News of Haudenshild’s departure clearly came out of the blue for the Swiss blockchain sector. One key partner of the Swisscom unit, who did not want to be named, only learned of the decision when swissinfo.ch called for comment.

In an interview with CNN Moneyexternal link on January 14, Haudenschild spoke of the company’s expansion plans, but made no mention of leaving.

Haudenschild was a key architect in the establishment of Swisscom Blockchainexternal link in the autumn of 2017. The unit was devised to cash in on the rapidly expanding blockchain sector in Switzerland by offering consultancy and technical services for start-ups and existing companies that want to incorporate blockchain into their operations.

Chief Digital Officer Roger Wüthrich-Hasenböhler will take over as acting CEO, Swisscom said in a statementexternal link. “Daniel Haudenschild and his team laid the foundations for Swisscom Blockchain Ltd. Thanks to his broad understanding of the technology, he made blockchain-based solutions accessible to other companies,” Wüthrich-Hasenböhler is quoted as saying.

In its first 16 months, Swisscom Blockchain has established partnerships with Swiss start-up Daura, a company that is working on a platform to help small companies list digital shares. Another partner, Custodigit offers secure cryptocurrency storage services.

Clients of the blockchain advisory specialist include Falcon private bank, canton Glarus and the Raiffeisen cooperative banking group.

Last month, Swisscom Blockchain teamed up with Swiss Post to build a “private blockchain” distributed ledger platform based on Hyperledger, designed to allow companies to plug in rather than build their own blockchains.

Haudenschild, who has put himself up as a candidate for the presidency of the non-profit Crypto Valley Association vote to be held on Thursday, was not immediately available for comment.

Full story here
Matthew Allen
When not covering banks, tax disputes, trade, Brexit, the World Economic Forum and FIFA, swissinfo.ch's business correspondent can be found playing cricket on various grounds in Switzerland - including the frozen lake of St Moritz. Initials: mga
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