Former economic advisor to President Trump Gary Cohn is wading back into public life.
Just over six months after leaving the White House, the former Goldman Sachs president and once one of the wealthiest members of the Trump administration has joined the advisory board of Spring Labs, a blockchain startup that uses the technology to change the way banks share credit data, reports The Financial Times.
Spring Labs, which is based in Los Angeles and Chicago, describes itself as building a “decentralized network for identity and credit to serve as the foundation for a more transparent, secure, and efficient delivery of financial services.”
By using blockchain, the startup asserts, financial institutions, lenders, and consumers will have better control of their data and added security as compared to the existing model, which relies on credit reporting agencies. Equifax, one of the largest of such agencies, suffered a data breach last year, which affected 143 million clients.
Adam Jiwan, the chairman and CEO of Spring Labs, explained to the FT that their approach would allow data to be “shared directly between parties in a ‘highly secure’ and ‘anonymous’ way.” The startup’s aim, ultimately, is that their model could “replace the credit bureaus you see today.”
Calling the project a “unique opportunity,” Cohn told the FT that it’s an “obvious place” to take a “very, very analogue industry and digitize it.” Cohn further explained that while he is less enthusiastic about cryptocurrencies—which are an application of blockchain—he had explored several opportunities in the blockchain sector since leaving the White House.
He pointed to the numerous possible applications of blockchain, including smart contracts and currency settlements, describing it a “huge new invention.”
“We all know all the inefficiencies of the existing currency world and blockchain clearly helps to eliminate them at some point in the future,” he added.
Cohn reportedly received an “undisclosed amount of equity” in the company.