A blockchain startup run by a former JP Morgan high-flier is coming to London

blythe masters paintingtheirry ehrmann/Flickr (CC)Blythe Masters graffiti — we don’t get it either.

Digital Asset Holdings, the blockchain startup run by former JP Morgan executive Blythe Masters, is opening an office in London.

The company says in an emailed statement that the new office will “support its clients and increase its presence in the UK and European markets.” It does not name who these clients are.

Digital Asset Holdings aims to use blockchain technology to make settlement of transactions quicker. Blockchain is the software that underpins bitcoin, powering and recording transactions. It uses complex cryptography to cut out the need for a trusted middle man to sit in between people in a transaction, for example a bank. Digital Asset Holdings is adapting this tech to be used for other things besides bitcoin.

Blythe Masters, who helped pioneered credit derivatives in the 1990s, joined the startup from JP Morgan last March. Masters says in an emailed statement announcing the new office:

London is a global center for finance and a leading hub for innovation. Opening an office in the UK is a natural extension of our commitment to wholesale financial markets across the globe.

Justin Amos, MD of risk and compliance software company NICE Actimize and former 14-year JP Morgan veteran, is joining Digital Asset Holdings to head up its London office. The company also announced the appointment of Edward Newman, a Goldman Sachs technology executive.

The opening of the London office comes amid reports that the company is struggling to raise funds. The company is trying to raise $35 million (£24 million), The New York Post first reported last month.

According to Nathaniel Popper, a reporter for The New York Times who has written a book on bitcoin, it has been having a hard time convincing investors. The funding round, if successful, would value Digital Asset Holdings at $100 million (£67 million).

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