Highly anticipated digital asset ecosystem Bakkt has hired an ex-PayPal and Google employee as its Chief Product Officer.

Announced in a blog post on Thursday, Bakkt has hired Mike Blandina — whose résumé boasts over 25 years of experience. Most notably, he worked as head of payments and credit engineering at PayPal, and director of engineering for the Google Wallet at Google.

Bakkt CEO, Kelly Loeffler, expressed her excitement at the hiring, also revealing Blandina’s role at the company:

“As our CPO, Mike will lead our efforts to converge a trusted ecosystem for digital assets with payments use cases, two elements of Bakkt that help bring real world applications to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. We are thrilled to have Mike as a leader on our team as we build an innovative platform for securing and transacting with digital assets.”

Intercontinental Exchange, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, made headlines last August when they teased the launch of Bakkt. Regulatory concerns in the US — namely from the CFTC — have seen the service suffer from repeated delays, however.

For those eager for Bakkt to launch, however, today’s post reiterated the statement that the firm is working through regulatory approvals. Loeffler likened the process to running  a marathon, describing this point in time as akin to training with the team. She concluded:

“Race day is approaching, and there is more work to be done.”



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