Shklar Ditches BNY Mellon for Burgeoning Blockchain Precious Metal Startup, Tradewind Markets


Leon Shklar, formerly working at BNY Mellon, is the new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Tradewind Markets, Blockchain-based gold and silver trading platform. Announcing this on Tuesday, the decentralized bullion trading startup appointed Shklar to supervise all technological components, including all architecture and infrastructure.

Before serving as the Managing Director in charge of technology at BNY Mellon, Shklar held several roles in Bridgewater Associates, the planet’s largest hedge fund. He has also worked with the New York Times as well as Thomson Reuters.

Speaking immediately after getting hired, Shklar expressed his confidence in the startup. According to him, Tradewind Markets is developing systems and solutions that would fortify the platform and enable the precious metals to be used in a more versatile way. His wish, however, is to see the metals being used as collateral, traded at spreads and held in custody.

Tradewind has a Blockchain-powered system known as VaultChain, whose role is to allow precious metal traders to go about their businesses hassle-freely. Among the platform’s clients are some of the leading institutions and wholesalers who also include producers, industrial users, and jewelers.

Using VaultChain, traders buy and sell their hard assets, albeit securely. They buy what’s held at the Royal Canadian Mint, even though the Blockchain ledger also must reflect the same.

For Tradewind Markets, having Leon Shklar onboard is a strategic move. Basically, his role will be to scale-out operations and attract new clients while expanding their tokenization.

The startup opted for precious metals because the market tends to be hit with a couple of “frictional elements.” The gold and silver market, according to Tradewind, battles with a lack of clear identity, exorbitant trading fees, and custodial fees as well as the metals’ inabilities to be used as collateral.

With Blockchain, however, traders now understand the commodity they are buying. Producers also have no problem differentiating themselves because of their distinctive responsible practices.

The bullion startup is appointing Shklar months after hiring Michael Albanese, its current CEO, from JPMorgan. Albanese, commenting on the announcement on Tuesday, spoke about Tradewind Markets’ quest to digitalize and make ‘alternative assets’ a bit more accessible to all. According to him, Shklar is the right person who will make his vision a reality.

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