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Samson Mow Plans to “Make Bitcoin Great Again” as Blockstream’s New Chief Strategy Officer

Samson Mow, who is best known in the Bitcoin community as the former chief operating officer of BTCC and for his controversial persona on Twitter, has a new job. In a blog post on Blockstream’s website this morning, it was announced that Mow would be joining the blockchain technology startup as the new chief strategy officer.

Details related to Mow’s new role at Blockstream, his alignment with the company’s core values, and his ability to continue his support for an open Bitcoin development process were outlined in the Mow-authored blog post and a related press release.

“What I hope to accomplish with the team at Blockstream is to bring great products to market, continue to contribute to the community, and make Bitcoin great again,” Mow told Bitcoin Magazine.

Mow’s New Role at Blockstream

According to comments from Blockstream CEO Adam Back, the company is preparing to accelerate and shift toward the launch and marketing of their enterprise and consumer products. “Samson will be undertaking a number of immediate strategic initiatives [during this process], including the establishment of Blockstream offices in China and Canada,” Back said.

"Samson's skills and experience are exceptionally complementary to Blockstream, leveraging both his deep Bitcoin and startup expertise," Back added.

“We're starting to see a lot of interest in the Elements blockchain platform in Asia, which is very encouraging,” Mow told Bitcoin Magazine. “As such, we'll start spending more time with local partners there and getting developers familiar with building on top of Elements.”

Elements is a project from Blockstream that allows developers to extend Bitcoin’s functionality via sidechains.

Mow also discussed some of the differences and similarities between his new role at Blockstream and his previous position at BTCC. “There will likely be some similarities, but I expect things to be very different as well since Blockstream's focus is on building platforms, whereas BTCC was purely B2C,” he said. “At Blockstream, I'll mainly focus on productization and bringing products to market, while building relationships with our partners.”

Alignment with Blockstream’s Core Values

Mow wrote in the company blog about how he is aligned with Blockstream’s core values. He specifically pointed to “protecting permissionless innovation, empowering through trustable and secure financial technology, and transforming the trust paradigm for the betterment of society” as examples of these core values.

“Blockstream is building a platform and systems where those risks can be eliminated, and where the end-users of the system do not need to trust Blockstream or anyone else to verify that the systems built using the technology can be trusted,” he said. “In addition, the Blockstream team prioritizes security, decentralization, and performance when approaching their work, which I find practical and pragmatic.”

This is not the first time Blockstream and Mow’s core values have brought them together. During his time at BTCC, Mow was involved with the organization process for the Scaling Bitcoin workshops, of which Blockstream is a key sponsor. “I plan to continue supporting Bitcoin community events and initiatives,” Mow wrote.

Supporting Bitcoin Development

Another reason Mow has joined Blockstream is to continue his support of the Bitcoin development process. He referred to this as Blockstream’s “raison d'être” in the blog post, explaining his reasons for joining the company.

“It’s important that Bitcoin development remain decentralized, and that developers are free to act independently and in the best interests of all users,” he said. “At Blockstream, everyone on the team has an independent voice, and may even disagree with each other publicly or make competing proposals at times.”

During his time at BTCC, the company began contributing financially to some of Bitcoin Core contributor Peter Todd’s development work.

Finally, it appears that Mow’s Twitter antics aren’t going anywhere. “On occasion [I will] find interesting ways to reiterate my beliefs and intentions with those who disagree,” Mow concluded, adding a smiley to the post for extra effect.

Kyle Torpey

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