Blockdaemon welcomes Chris Sharp to the role of Chief Technology Officer!
With over 23 years of experience in the tech industry building some of Apple’s top product and service line-ups like the Find My iPhone App (FMiP), eSIM, and Apple Pay — Chris is just getting started and ready for his next challenge to help Blockdaemon scale, streamline, and optimize our technology offering.
To celebrate this fantastic addition to the Blockdaemon Team, we invited Chris for a quick virtual sit-down to learn about his impressive career, what brought him to the FinTech and crypto world, and his plans for the future as Blockdaemon’s new CTO.
Chris’ Career Timeline: Over Two Decades of Pure Innovation
It all started in 1999 when Chris joined the now technology giant Apple as a Developer. As the years went by, Chris moved up the ranks and, in 2017, became the Director of Apple Pay Engineering. During his time at Apple, Chris and his team built some of the most influential technology products used by millions of people around the world today.
“I worked on many products and services, but the ones I am most proud of are Find My iPhone (FMiP), eSIM, and Apple Pay. I like to think that my team made the first cell phone call with an electronic SIM, and we certainly made the first Apple Pay EMV transaction at Jamba Juice in San Jose, CA”, said Chris.
A Wholesome Journey to The FinTech and Crypto World
During his time at Apple, Chris was already dipping his toe in the blockchain tech world.
“The technologies that we were using, for example, for Apple Pay and the eSIM, are all, in fact, the same kinds of algorithms that are used in terms of how you go about building a distributed ledger, whether it’s the SHA256 hash function or elliptic-curve cryptography”, explained Chris.
Additionally, Chris worked in JavaCard and GlobalPlatform for both eSIM and later Apple Pay. These projects introduced Chris to a wide variety of security and cryptographic primitives. In late 2012, Chris and his team built the Trusted Service Manager (TSM) for all Apple Pay provisioning globally. This project required in-depth knowledge of GlobalPlatform Amendment E, an ECDSA-based mutual authentication scheme.
“There’s something quite beautiful about the math behind how all of this works,” added Chris.
In 2016, Chris attended the W3C Blockchain and The Web Conference, hosted at MIT. The topic of decentralized identities and Web3 was a significant subject matter at the event. Chris was undeniably intrigued when he later pitched the idea of building a decentralized identity service at Apple using Solidity.
Why Chris Joined Blockdaemon
Undoubtedly, Chris’ passion for the blockchain industry has played a prominent and evolving part throughout his career. Chris sees tremendous opportunities for financial inclusion and democratization across many verticals.
However, the more significant reason is the people at Blockdaemon. “From Konstantin to the entire team, I was blown away by the talent and collaboration,” explained Chris.
A Plan For the Future
The blockchain industry is constantly evolving. So something that you learned yesterday might have already changed. Thus, for now, Chris plans on learning about what’s been built at Blockdaemon to date.
Apart from embarking on this learning curve, Chris plans on identifying various opportunities for improvement from the process perspective to ensure things are organized efficiently and looking at how future services and products align with Konstantin’s vision.
Last but not least, Chris hopes to inspire and build agile teams that strive to innovate and create a positive impact on the industry. Sometimes it makes more sense to ask for forgiveness rather than permission and go with what your gut says.
Chris has fought his entire career to keep his teams as agile, grounded, and innovative as possible, and he hopes to bring this energy to Blockdaemon.
One final time, we welcome Chris to Team Blockdaemon. Chris’ depth of knowledge and experience in the technology industry is a massive asset to Blockdaemon. We are excited to have him on board as our new Chief Technology Officer. Stay tuned for what’s to come!
If you’re excited about blockchain and are interested in joining our team, why not check out our careers page? We are always looking for great people to join.