Blockchain Oil Company Names Former JP Morgan Director As New Boss

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Vakt, a blockchain-based commodity post-trade platform that is planning to reinvent commodities trading with the use of blockchain technology has hired a former energy trader from Mercuria and JP Morgan Chase as its next chief executive.

Vakt aims to ditch paper-based trading and secure audit processes by placing it on the blockchain. It has been backed by major oil firms such as Chevron, BP, and Shell as well as banks such as Societe Generale, ING, and ABN Amro.

Etienne Amic, its new boss, was formerly a managing director at JP Morgan and Mercuria. He had also founded Vortexa, a cargo and analytics company specializing in global crude oil and refined products markets, and Commoditech Ventures, his own venture capital fund for the industry.

Amic stated: “I was aware of Vakt from the start, but what impressed me was the success the company has had as a creation by a consortium of traders.”

He added: “To have such prestigious companies pulling in the same direction – many of them competitors – tells you this is something very powerful that the industry really needs.”

Having served as a managing director at both Mercuria Energy Trading S.A and JPMorgan Chase, Amic is expected to bring direct experience in commodities trading to the platform of Vakt, which is especially designed to digitize physical commodities trading by cutting out or ditching paperwork.

Vakt was founded in November last year. It has also received backing from Total, Equinor, Gunvor and Koch Supply & Trading, and Reliance Industries.

Amic said that the aims of Vakt is to simplify the processes of trading and bring them onto a single platform. This includes not just the end buyers and sellers, but the involvement of pipeline or terminal operators who are acting as de facto physical clearinghouses, and service providers such as inspection companies and port agents.