Who’s behind this? #16: Jita Digital (Product Development, Strategic advisory and audit Blockchain company)
This section aims to give the opportunity to introduce some of the best 🇪🇺 founders. Most people loves their products but don’t know who are the founders behind them. Hello World.
Background: Jerome is one of the most impressive founder I’ve met in London. In addition to being one of the most savvy security auditor in London in crypto, he has created one of the few companies that are actually building blockchain solutions used by startups, corporates and funds. And without VC funding. And yes it is profitable. Enjoy.
Hi Jerome, you are one of the most experienced crypto operators in London I know. You used to lead product and revenue at Mycelium, one of the top blockchain wallets. You are now running your company Jita. You are behind some of the most exciting blockchain enterprises in the industry and have worked with top projects. Can you share a bit more about Jita, your background and your team?
Sure, I come from an engineering and technology background. I created Jita in 2015, initially focused on blockchain for microfinance. I was convinced that blockchain could improve transparency, increase transactions speed and accelerate business.
Later, we pivoted to an industry agnostic product development strategy. We now help introduce blockchain into every possible industry! However, we do have a focus on finance related applications.
Our team is fully decentralised, based in London, Lisbon, Barcelona, Belgrade, Dublin and Toronto.
We combine top blockchain and computer security expertise with strong design, UX and front-end talent. The whole team is always aligned with the best interests of our clients.
How did you get into the bitcoin and blockchain industry?
Randomly, as I just wanted to move from Switzerland to London!
I passed interviews at Google London for Android TV, but the team manager there didn’t really want to manage that new activity and people there didn’t look very happy.
So I ended up instead talking with my friend in Vienna who was working on an exciting bitcoin hardware and software startup. After some discussion, I moved to London on my own to create the Mycelium UK entity in 2014.
You come from a research background, got a PhD and then did research at CSEM. Can you share advice for people moving from academia / research to operator?
I think people who pursue a PhD through their intellectual curiosity and the idea of a challenge will find their place in industry.
The academic world has its good and bad sides. , ndustry offers a very different environment and opportunities.
It is important to remain open, humble and accept that industry works differently than academia and much of the best talent don’t have PhDs. Also, professionally and socially, people who hold a PhD are perceived as less experienced than other people their age; this takes some time to overcome. On the other hand, it is a chance to have worked in research and obtained a PhD. Some people in industry would have enjoyed that intellectual challenge and culture. PhD grads can contribute to a more scientific approach by helping to identify and test hypotheses in the right order, for both technology and business problems.
In the longer term, being able to quickly understand, analyze and communicate complex topics, and communicate them, is a very important skill.
What is the vision of Jita Digital? What makes it special compared to your peers?
We believe blockchain is a transformational technology that will impact every industry — similar to the internet, electricity, or the airline industries.
That being said, we have a more specific focus on finance as it is a fully digital industry, with historical huge barriers to entry. We believe finance is where we can have the biggest impact on society and where the most exciting projects are occurring.
We stand out from the competition due to our highly diverse, experienced and business focused team. We design and build secure products for the whole world and not just for the 1% living on a university campus or in a crypto meetup.
Nevertheless, we respect universities and enjoy crypto meetups!
We believe in building long term partnerships and want to work with the best clients with the strongest business cases and best teams in every industry.
We are an independently owned profitable business. This gives us a lot more flexibility and independence, our goal is not short term profit maximization or exponential growth at all costs.
Our company name comes from the Japanese concept Jita Kyoei, which we translate as mutual prosperity or success together. This happens both internally as everybody in our team (myself included of course!) is encouraged to develop new skills and externally as we want our clients to reach their goals.
Who is your target audience?
Most of our clients are early stage startups created by experienced entrepreneurs. We also work a lot with VC funds, hedge funds and funds of funds. Finally, we sometimes work with large Fortune 500 corporations and medium sized established companies, often at CEO/CFO and board level.
What are you thoughts on the crypto European ecosystem?
It is a very dynamic environment with more and more active local communities, such as Prague, Berlin,Amsterdam, Stockholm, Paris, Vienna, Barcelona and Lisbon. London is still the biggest finance community in Europe and a great place to meet but not everything happens there. Thanks to our highly distributed team we are quickly aware of what is happening in other cities and can find talent where it is located.
Anything to add?
We’re very excited by the next 18 months as we see a lot of new projects, new talented teams and new funds to finance them. Regulations and banking relations are also beginning to improve and unnecessary barriers are being removed for entry..
We never know what will happen next week and that is probably why working in this field can be so addictive.