John Edge

Connection Science Fellow

John Edge started his career in Capital Markets in the late 90’s with a focus on algorithmic trading, launching Europe’s first direct market access trading business. These new automated trading applications were made possible by the earlier launch of the open sourced protocol FIX.

Recognizing a market transformation was just beginning John developed an expertise in the design, build and launch of algorithmic trading businesses and went on to launch new lines of business at UBS, Lehman Brothers and J.P. Morgan.

In 2008, following the financial crisis, John cofounded Redkite, a technology company that anticipated the increase in budget and demand for RegTech solutions in financial markets. Redkite solved the problem of supervising electronic trading systems for financial crime and regulatory abuse events. By 2008 over 90% of listed securities trading were electronic, creating data flows that were both high in volume and frequency, rendering most trade surveillance systems unfit for purpose. By launching world’s first enterprise real-time trade surveillance system for capital markets Redkite captured a market segment and led to the acquisition of Redkite by NICE Systems in 2012.

Following the exit to NICE, John was asked to contribute to the design of a Bitcoin ETF and there began his journey into decentralized systems and token based protocols. Recognizing the parallels between the early days of FIX in Capital Markets and the new token based protocols, John identified a need for education and open communication, cofounding the Whitechapel Think. This Public-Private forum for the UK Government, Bank of England, Financial Conduct Authority and industry explored the potential for Distributed Ledger Technologies. The output from the Think Tank contributed to the Government Chief Scientist, Sir Mark Walport, leading a report on Distributed Ledger Technologies.

Through this work, John identified a requirement for creating a bridge between the existing institutions and the emerging technologies given the potential these new protocols provide for the creation of the ‘Internet of Everything’.

Over the last 4 years John has created an acceleration platform, focused on digital identity of people and devices, plus digital asset transaction networks to discover new models for the Internet of Everything economy.

In 2014 John co-founded ID2020, a principal driven Public-Private Partnership designed to address the market failures that have led to the vulnerable, especially women and children, being unable to receive protection under international and local law through lack of recognized identity. The four principals of identity being Personal, Private, Portable and Persistent are consistent with the ambition to ‘do no harm’ in the deployment of emerging technologies.