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Reports: Former Trump Cabinet Member Has Jumped on the Blockchain Bandwagon
FinTech, Blockchain, Financial Services
During his short tenure as interior secretary in the Trump administration, Ryan Zinke was primarily known for two things: Leading the White House’s aggressive rollback of environmental protections and being the target of several federal investigations into alleged corruption that eventually led to his resignation in December.
But now Zinke wants to be known for something else, as he’s been named a managing director at Artillery One – an investment firm launched in 2017 by Daniel Cannon – and is jumping on the blockchain bandwagon, Ars Technica reports (via Swiss news site swissinfo.ch). While the specifics of Artilley One’s investments remain murky, Zinke told swissinfo.ch that he’s “excited about developing a winning team in an emerging technology, to help shape the blockchain industry and professionalize it to make sure there is a degree of security and confidence.”
Also, the firm is currently exploring opportunities in Kosovo, according to Zinke.
“It is a good example of an emerging economy where blockchain, financial instruments and cyber security can combine to have a meaningful impact,” he said about Kosovo. “Proving the worth of the technology in the controlled environment of a small country is enormously important.”
Ars Technica gives some background on why Artillery One would be seeking out opportunities there:
Blockchain boosters have long pointed to developing countries with dysfunctional financial systems as possible markets for blockchain technologies. But the idea has been slow to gain traction. Countries like Venezuela do seem to see rising bitcoin usage in times of crisis, but even in those countries bitcoin and other blockchain networks seem to account for a trivial share of economic activity.
Zinke doesn’t see blockchain technologies limited to developing countries, however. He described the opportunities for using blockchain as “wide open.” Another possible application he mentioned is “tracing cobalt through blockchain to make sure production isn’t being done using child labor.” He also suggested that a similar model could work for tracking prescription drugs.
Of course, given his controversial political past as a member of the Trump administration, not everyone is excited about Zink’e new leap into the blockchain space. But, at least for now, Zinke appears to be all-in on this new career path.
“There are critics and there are doubters,” Zinke told swissinfo.ch. “Blockchain needs to follow the rules, be free from fraud and instill consumer and investor confidence in the system.”