SALT Announces Justin English as Chief Executive Officer
We’re excited to announce that Justin English has been named chief executive officer at Salt Blockchain Inc., parent company to SALT Lending. Co-presidents Rob Odell and Dustin Hull, who have been working together for the past six months to fill the CEO role and onboard English, will remain co-presidents and will continue to support SALT in their respective roles as chief product officer and chief financial officer.
English brings more than 15 years of senior management and board experience across the private equity, early-stage venture capital, consumer products, supply chain, manufacturing, distribution, and consumer services industries. Having founded three companies, he has extensive entrepreneurial experience with a specific focus on capital raising, financial modeling, and developing go-to-market strategies.
In addition to these areas of expertise, English currently serves as co-managing partner of First Catalyst Ventures, a US-based alternative investment firm focusing on early stage B2B technology companies. He also brings several years of board member experience to his new role, having previously served on several non-profit boards and on the board of SALT. Currently, he serves on the board of a non-profit private school as well as on the board of Elite Mining Inc., a crypto mining operation focused on clean energy and green mining.
Appointed to SALT’s board of directors in October 2019, English immediately did a deep dive of SALT’s talent, partnerships, brand, product offerings, and everything in between to determine the company’s potential. He began thinking about the ways in which it could grow and scale, and in doing so, played a significant advisory role in guiding SALT’s executive team in its decisions throughout his time on the Board. “It became evident that Justin was a natural fit for the CEO role,” said Joe Perry, chairman of SALT’s Board of Directors. “He has a strategic mindset and a proven ability to identify, understand, and execute on the necessary actions that will lead SALT to success.”
English has been a serial entrepreneur throughout his entire career and has extensive experience working with start-ups. This experience was a major factor in his decision to accept the role as chief executive officer. “I’m excited to take on this challenge for a couple of reasons, the first being that SALT is a start-up and start-ups are what I know,” said Justin English, chief executive officer, SALT.
“Second, SALT is well-positioned to challenge the conventional ways of thinking about finance — that’s something I’m really passionate about because so many of us go through life making decisions that have been historically viewed as correct, when in reality there’s so much more we can be doing to build and preserve our own wealth. With that in mind, I want to take this opportunity to build something that not only helps our customers lead better financial lives, but that gives our team a sense of purpose regarding the work they’re doing each day.”
With the addition of English as chief executive officer, SALT’s executive team now consists of six members: Dustin Hull as chief financial officer; Rob Odell as chief product officer; Dirk Anderson as chief technology officer; Alex Fader as chief legal officer; and Debra Johnston as chief people officer.
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This week Shannon Grinnell, host of the “Speaking of Crypto” podcast spoke with our COO Jenny Shaver for the first episode of her new series, “Women in Crypto.” The series will air each Wednesday and will highlight women in the crypto space who are making waves and challenging the status quo in a predominantly male industry.
In this episode Jenny and Shannon discuss Jenny’s experience at American Express, her thoughts on Libra, SALT’s ability to collateralize the Dash associated with a Dash masternode, and what it’s like to be a woman in a C-level role at a crypto startup. She describes how crypto is a mashup of two traditionally male-dominated cultures — Wall Street and Silicon Valley — and how she feels empowered by our opportunity to be radical — not only in terms of the technology we build, but in who builds it.
“We have the opportunity to break down old ways of thinking and being. That’s where it feels empowering to me. I feel a responsibility as a woman in the space to rewrite the rules, rewrite the narrative and the assumptions around women thriving — not just in the financial or tech industries but in a highly volatile, competitive, complex space where you traditionally don’t see women in these high-risk places. But here we are and we’re thriving.”
Jenny also shares the best piece of advice she’s ever received and how she applies it every day to her current role at SALT: “Don’t ever sit in the back, be present. When you’re at a meeting, sit at the table and make sure you speak. Make sure you’re heard and that you have a voice.”
Listen to the full interview below to learn more about Jenny’s experience and perspective on the future of crypto.
SALT, Dash and Staking: SALT’s Rob Odell Interviewed by Dash News
Recently we announced the support for Dash as collateral for loans, a feature we were excited to release given the demand from you along with the cryptocurrency’s potential to further financial inclusion around the globe.
Our VP of Product and Marketing, Rob Odell, recently spoke with Dash News about the platform, noting that $100,000 worth of Dash could secure a loan up to $70,000 — perfect for situations where you require cash but are reluctant to sell your cryptocurrency.
Rob qualifies the addition of Dash as “one of the most innovative inclusions that we’ve worked on since the launch of the platform.” We’ve integrated it in such a way that, while custody of the Dash itself is delegated to our platform, you retain the masternode rights so you can continue to earn payouts and voting rights from staking. With comprehensive insurance and the benefit of not commingling assets, this further ensures that SALT can provide you with highly secure storage options — something that may be more convenient and less risky than taking custody into your own hands.
This ability for you to maintain your masternode status, while utilizing your assets as collateral is an industry-first, and Rob dives into this further with Joël.
Listen to the full interview for more details and follow these step-by-step instructions to custody or borrow against your Dash with us and still run your masternode.
SALT Welcomes Eric Spencer as Chief Financial Officer
While in the past couple months we’ve expanded globally, we’ve also expanded our executive team to include its newest member and Chief Financial Officer, Eric Spencer. Eric brings more than 10 years of finance experience in the lending and real estate industries, which will enable him to build out SALT’s infrastructure by establishing key banking relationships and developing a framework for the company’s reporting process.
Prior to his role at SALT, Eric spent five years as SVP Controller for Computershare Loan Services where he oversaw the accounting, finance, treasury, billing, A/P and A/R units of the business, as well as managed seven credit facilities and coordinated “Big 4” audits. Before that he served as VP of Finance and Accounting at Broe Real Estate Services where he was responsible for all 80 real estate assets, which totaled more than $400 million in gross value. Eric also held previous finance positions at AIMCO and Capmark/GMAC.
Despite his primarily traditional financial background, Eric is an avid follower of all things blockchain and is excited for its potential even outside of the financial services industry. “There are so many interesting uses for blockchain tech and the one that stands out to me most is the concept of leveraging it for foodbanks in communities where there’s no cash or currency,” Eric shared. “Blockchain tech has the potential to fight corruption, bring greater equality to certain areas, and hopefully eventually solve some of the world’s largest problems like starvation. It’s a mind-blowing mechanism that if leveraged correctly, can make the world a better place.”
Until then, Eric is looking forward to seeing blockchain tech play a greater role in the financial services industry, especially as it relates to SALT. “I’m most excited about SALT’s growth potential and all that we’re trying to accomplish in the next 12 months,” he said. “We’re focused on some major goals within the organization, and I’ll be working cross-functionally to ensure we have the strategy, infrastructure, and people required to bring our vision to life.”
As Eric focuses on SALT’s goals, he says he’ll keep in mind a philosophy he’s learned from spending time on the golf course — one that will help him and his team not only achieve these goals but also enjoy the journey doing so. “Golf has taught me that sometimes it’s better to not go 120 percent but to go at an even pace,” he said. “It applies to work and life in that sometimes you find yourself working so hard that you lose sight of things, and you don’t enjoy the journey. When you go at an even pace, not only is it more fun, but you also get better results.”
When he’s not golfing or thinking about blockchain tech, Eric enjoys riding roller coasters, playing sports with his two sons, and going to concerts with his wife (their next one is Justin Timberlake). He also reads a ton. His favorite recent read? The Big Short (pretty fitting for a CFO, right?).
Not only does Eric have an incredible financial background and a passion for life-long learning, but his leadership style has mentorship at its core — all signs of a strong leader. SALT is proud to have him on board as our CFO, and we’re are confident that between his expertise and enthusiasm, he’ll help guide us to where we want to be.
Honored, But Not Distracted
As many are aware, I recently took on the position of President and CEO of SALT. And, while you’ll hear more from me in the coming days regarding the exciting developments here at SALT, I felt it was important to take a moment and address some rumors and speculation in the marketplace.
Recently, SALT has received a number of marketing inquiries showing interest in buying our business. While we appreciate our competitors’ interest in our purpose and business model, our company is not for sale, nor are we seeking any M&A (mergers and acquisitions) activities.
There are strong opportunities squarely in our sights, and all of us at SALT are excited to continue and execute our business plan. We are fully focused on enhancing our products for stakeholders, including investors and borrowers, and building a strong employee base to ensure we continue bridging the gap between crypto holders and conventional financial systems.
With over $50 million in loans serviced to date, a user base of over 70,000, and active loans in 3 countries, the community should rest assured that SALT remains strong and is dedicated to improving its products, services, and availability.
Until next time,
Bill Sinclair Interim President & CEO Chief Technology Officer
To the SALT Community
When we first announced SALT and what we were building, it was a new idea. The concept is as simple now as when we began: leveraging blockchain assets as collateral for loans.
We knew from the beginning there would be challenges and obstacles in the path to executing this model. We knew that we would have to build the bridges required to connect this new asset class to the traditional institutions and systems that have been historically resistant to change. This is always the case when you are disrupting the status quo. We knew other companies would follow our business model, walking down the same paths we cleared and over the same bridges we built.
Today, only a year after our official launch, our expectations have become a reality. The trail is blazed, there is loan demand, there is competition and new ways of doing business with traditional markets is unfolding. At SALT we welcome this evolution and recognize the value it brings to our collective vision. What was once a big dream is now a thriving competitive landscape.
For this I am grateful.
I am grateful for our community, because SALT would not exist without you. I am grateful for our critics, because they help us identify opportunities for improvement. I am grateful for competition, because it validates our industry and drives maturity. We have created a market that is revolutionizing the world — a call to arms that is getting louder every day.
When we started SALT, we were motivated by a deeply held belief that blockchain technology was going to bring about a world with more liberty, fairness, and prosperity. The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies was less than $6bn. Most of the world was unaware of what Bitcoin was, let alone its potential. Since those early days, I’ve watched the impact of both crypto and SALT grow tremendously. What was once a single beacon of light in a dark, centralized world of money is now a robust and evolving ecosystem full of incredible innovation. As for SALT, what was once a couple of people brainstorming in a coffee shop has become a growing company with of talented team, over $50MM in loans issued, expanding jurisdictions, evolving products and services and a community of members 70,000+ strong. We have been hard at work collaborating, building, testing and compiling a team all for the purpose of serving our global market.
Like Bitcoin, SALT has had some missteps along the way. But also like Bitcoin, SALT has become more dedicated through every experience, more antifragile through every challenge, and stronger through every success. I’ll be the first to admit that we could have been more communicative with our community. We’ve been building a solid team focused on addressing this pain point and I am confident that you will be hearing from SALT more regularly going forward.
As the 1st mover in this industry, SALT has the responsibility and privilege to lead without a map. It is a responsibility we do not take lightly and we will continue to work hard to build and operate our business with integrity and dedication. I applaud the tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit of every company that sees the same vision and potential that has motivated SALT since its genesis and has joined us in transforming this space.
SALT remains strong, dedicated to our community, and confident in the future.
All the best,
Co-founder and Chief Knowledge Officer
Getting to Know SALT’s Interim President and CEO Bill Sinclair
As SALT approaches its upcoming announcement, this is a great time to get to know interim President and CEO Bill Sinclair. Bill brings more than 20 years of experience in software and technology development, and will apply that know how to SALT’s future as a visionary fintech company with a strong focus on security and scalability.
Bill led technology strategies at fast-growing companies in the financial services, energy and Internet of things (IoT) industries. As CTO of Cartasite, an industrial IoT company, he enhanced and expanded the company’s product development team. Prior, Bill led the growth and acquisition of MineralFile.
“I’m looking forward to building a bridge of continued innovation between traditional financial services and blockchain,” Bill shared. “It’s been a pleasure to work with such smart and dedicated people, and we’re just getting started.”
Bill has been a believer in the potential of blockchain technology for some time, and became very engaged with bitcoin in 2014. He first got into mining using an ASIC Miner he purchased on eBay. “I could only run it at night,” Bill laughed. “It made a ton of noise. You couldn’t even have a conversation in the same room with it.”
His interests have not been exclusively focused on blockchain. Bill has a strong philanthropic core, having served as a board member of We Don’t Waste, a food waste related charity organization founded in 2009. “I feel like the underbanked and food insecure have a lot in common, with both suffering from a lack of access to resources,” said Sinclair. He also helped found the BroncosBus, a philanthropic endeavor which helped raise money for a number of local and national charities.
Bill is a native of Colorado and lives in the Denver area with his family and their three-legged St. Bernard, Molly (who lost one of her legs to a rare cancer). “I inherited her through marriage and was allergic to big hairy dogs, but she was determined to rid me of my allergy by sleeping on my head nightly. Turns out I’m not allergic to her anymore!”
SALT is proud to have Bill serving as Interim President and CEO, and looks forward to sharing more insights about those leading the charge of disruption.
SALT Announces Bill Sinclair, CTO as Interim President and CEO
At SALT Lending Holdings, Inc., our mission is to help holders of blockchain assets leverage them as collateral for cash loans. As part of that commitment, we continually evaluate the pairing of our leadership capabilities to the growth of our company to ensure that we have the right resources in place to serve our clients and community both now and in the future.
Today SALT appointed Bill Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer as interim President and CEO. Previously Sinclair led technology operations for several companies in various industries including IoT and financial services. Given SALT’s growth plans and market opportunity, Sinclair’s background will be a critical asset for future success. Assuming responsibilities from former CEO, Shawn Owen, Sinclair will run the day to day business operations of SALT. Owen leaves the company after serving as one of SALT’s Cofounders and CEO since the company formation in 2016.
Sinclair was an early adopter of blockchain technology and crypto currency. He has significant experience mining, programming, and developing technology solutions in the space.