Bitcoin wizzkid that exited is now back! Jaron Lukasiewicz joins Rhodes Corporation as Vice President
After selling Coinsetter and CaVirtex to Kraken in January 2016, Jaron Lukasiewicz took time out in California. Six months later, he appeared to be working on the establishment of a new start up, however has today joined large US construction consultancy The Rhodes Group as VP in Las Vegas
Time out in California is good for pretty much anyone, especially for a young executive who took one of the world’s most successful Bitcoin exchanges from pre-startup ideology to fruition, and from fruition to successful standing as one of New York’s largest regulated virtual currency venues.
In August 2016, fresh faced entrepreneur Jaron Lukasiewicz returned from his six month vacation on the West Coast, enough time to reflect on his tenure as one of the more technologically-minded members of the Bitcoin fraternity who exited the industry following the sale of successful New York-based Bitcoin exchange Coinsetter (acquired by Kraken) in January last year in what has been widely noted to be the largest M&A deal in Bitcoin history despite the terms of the transaction having remained undisclosed.
Four months ago, upon his return to the commercial world, Mr Lukasiewicz appeared to be working on a new venture, however its structure and type of company were kept secret.
At the time, FinanceFeeds was made aware that Mr. Lukasiewicz’s new venture was operating in what is known in venture capital and technology startup circles as ‘stealth mode’ which is a method of avoiding public attention. This may be done to hide information from competitors, or — as part of a marketing strategy — to manage public image.
Normally a company would only operate in stealth mode during its inaugural period. As investors may have to disclose funding a stealth startup, their names are made public, but often only a general summary description is known about the company. Many founders of new startups state that they are in stealth mode to avoid concerns relating to competitors stealing their ideas.
Mr. Lukasiewicz listed himself as the CEO and founder of the new firm in August and there has been no further word on this since, and thus Mr Lukasiewicz’s career has now taken a different course altogether.
Today, Mr. Lukasiewicz joins construction consultancy firm The Rhodes Group, based at the company’s Las Vegas operation.
The Rhodes Group is a large national consultancy firm that specializes in damage assessment and claims in the construction industry across North America, and Mr. Lukasiewicz joins the company as Vice President of the Las Vegas division.
Speaking to FinanceFeeds in February this year, Mr. Lukasiewicz revealed that he had retreated to the West Coast in order to enjoy some well deserved time out, also having sold Cavirtex ( an acronym for Canadian Virtual Exchange) at the same time as having exited from Coinsetter.
“I recently sold Coinsetter and am on the west coast taking a breather for the next few months” he said.
Mr. Lukasiewicz founded Coinsetter in 2012, at the very height of Bitcoin’s rush to popularity, albeit in very different circumstances to today, where the technology behind Bitcoin, particularly Blockchain, is regarded as an institutional technological solution and is being widely adopted by major banks, a subject which FinanceFeeds has investigated in detail.
A far cry from the days of volatile values and the mavericks and anarchists that championed its cause in its inaugural years, Bitcoin has become an exchange-traded instrument which is based on a technology that has attracted record investments from experienced venture capital investors.
Indeed, in order to stake out its position as a mainstay of the future, Coinsetter concentrated on institutional clients from its outset in 2012, thus removing any of the pitfalls of exchanges that never made it to the position in which they can be accepted as both a fully regulated Wall Street fixture, or a pinnacle of Blockchain technology.
A matter that Mr. Lukasiewicz has been well aware of for a considerable length of time is the application of Blockchain database technology beyond the mining of Bitcoin. He explained this to me during a meeting in New York in the summer of last year, and was indeed correct in his predictions.
“It is essential to understand how the Blockchain technology is competitive, and who is using it. There is growth in the remittance use these days, so it is slowly displacing Western Union and MoneyGram at sometimes similar rates, and can be even done at much less cost, a tenth, but no consumers really try that. Companies are also trying to rival Transferwise which is taking Bitcoin into direct competition with deliverable FX” said Mr. Lukasiewicz.
“If bitcoin comes to you from somewhere, you don’t have to trust the institution or counterparty, and can credit an account quickly because of that. When you start creating Blockchains or tokens for fiat currencies that can be turned around really quickly and can speed up bank transfers which is important for the FX industry, but for this to work, trust relationships have to be built up between all institutions.” – Jaron Lukasiewicz, CEO & Founder, Coinsetter
The institions did indeed go down this route, and yesterday, following investment into the research of Bitcoin technology by several large banks, JPMorgan began conducting live tests involving the accounts of approximately 2,200 clients, by using Blockchain as a means of transferring funds internationally by automated means, marking Mr. Lukasiewicz’s perspective as absolutely accurate.
Mr. Lukasiewicz may well have had the technical abilities and entrepreneurial mind which has led his startup in such a new sector to success, however far from being a maverick who wished to circumvent the traditional banking system, he actually comes from the institutional banking industry.
In 2007, Mr. Lukasiewicz began his career at SPB Partners, where he gained an overview of the Private Equity space, before joining JPMorgan in 2008 as an investment banker.
In 2009, Mr. Lukasiewicz moved to Sanders Morris Harris and spent two years at the company as an investment banker before moving to The CapStreet Group in Houston, Texas as a Private Equity Associate.
The mix of experience between the financial industry and private equity gave him a very solid basis for entering the fintech startup arena, and in 2011 he co-founded Ticketometer with his brother Ardon in Houston Texas before making his big break in 2012 with the establishment of Coinsetter, which remains today one of the most prominent Bitcoin facilities in the world.