Former American Express and Credit Suisse Executives Join BlockFi

BlockFi adds to its roster with new Chief Growth Officer and Global Managing Director hires to fuel the company’s global institutional growth and consumer adoption of its platform


BlockFi announced today that it has hired Wittney Rachlin as Chief Growth Officer and David Olsson as Global Managing Director of European and Asian markets. Both Rachlin and Olsson join BlockFi during a seminal period of economic and adoption activity of cryptocurrencies, with each new position tasked to bolster the adoption of BlockFi’s suite of products and services for existing and new retail and institutional clients. 

As Chief Growth Officer for BlockFi, Rachlin will be responsible for leading several aspects of the business to drive growth, including marketing, business development and the launch of products in the payments space including a Bitcoin rewards credit card slated to launch later this year. She brings 20 years of financial services experience to the table, having recently served executive leadership positions with Prudential Financial and American Express. Rachlin drove consumer and commercial growth for American Express for over 14 years where she accelerated revenue by 20% for four Business Card products and managed a relaunch to drive customer spending, identify engagement opportunities and win loyalty with enhanced experiences. 

As Global Managing Director, Olsson will be responsible for growing BlockFi’s institutional services overseeing business development, risk management and sales strategy, across European and Asian markets. With 20 years of experience in financial services, Olsson managed teams at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse covering prime brokerage and equity derivatives. Most recently at Credit Suisse, he ran a private banking team focused on Ultra-High Net-Worth clients, providing sophisticated investors with holistic portfolio advice from investments to financing.  

“After I made my first Bitcoin purchase I was hooked on crypto. You don’t have to be a tech or finance expert to invest in digital currencies, and BlockFi is doing something truly remarkable in the financial services space with an approach to digital assets you don’t normally see in the startup world today,” said Rachlin. “Anyone can be a crypto investor, and I’m looking forward to growing our client base and encouraging more people to jump in and benefit from this digital gold rush.”

“Traditional financial markets today are going through unique hurdles that have proved, and continue to prove, to be a challenge to overcome. However, with this, there is also opportunity, and a door has been opened for new solutions and infrastructures, like blockchain technology, to shine,” said Olsson. “In ten years, blockchain technology will be de facto across industries, and financial markets will be no exception with securities and digital assets on the chain. BlockFi has operated with zero losses since its inception and is well poised to lead the market for institutional clients across the globe.”

“The crypto financial services space is maturing and we can see a clear turning point today where traditional finance is being outpaced by digital,” said Zac Prince, CEO and Co-Founder, BlockFi. “Savvy veterans of the old guard will continue to look to alternative technologies and digital currencies to build what the next frontier of finance will look like – and we are excited to grow our world class team to lead this charge.” 

BlockFi has also announced that it has added three new directors to its team to fuel business strategy and operations. Rob Margolis joins from LedgerX as Director Institutional Services; Mitch Port was hired from Kraken to serve as Director of Strategy & Analytics; and Dylan Stigliano, formerly at Petal, joins BlockFi as Director of Business Operations.

BlockFi’s platform offers clients crypto-based interest accounts providing up to an 8.6% annual percentage yield on Bitcoin, Ether and stablecoins; crypto-backed loans allowing clients to access liquidity up to 50% of an asset’s value in USD; and zero-fee trading. BlockFi manages more than $800 million in assets on the platform, with a 0% loss rate across its entire loan portfolio since the company began lending in January 2018, even during the dramatic drop in price and ongoing volatility in crypto earlier this year. The company will soon offer a mobile app and plans to launch a Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card later this year.

– The BlockFi Team

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Rates for BlockFi products are subject to change. Digital currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and BIA accounts are not subject to FDIC or SIPC protections. Cryptoassets are deposited into an account with Gemini or BitGo, our primary custodians and licensed depository trusts.. For more information, please see BlockFi’s Terms of Service.

BlockFi’s Boomers Say “OK” to Bitcoin

Charles Schwab’s Q4 2019 data revealed that $GBTC, the publicly listed Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust, is the fifth largest stock holding for Millennials, just behind $TSLA and ahead of $NFLX. Millennials clearly can’t resist buying and selling bitcoin in their brokerage accounts and IRAs through $GBTC. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that $GBTC trades 20 – 50% of Coinbase’s physically settled volume on any given day. 

And the only thing easier than using BlockFi to own crypto is calling your financial advisor and instructing her to buy $GBTC for your account.


Charles Schwab Stock Ownership By Generation













What is surprising for us is that no generation other than Millennials held enough $GBTC to register on the report. We find this surprising because BlockFi’s value and offerings cut across all ages, providing every generation the opportunity to own and get paid to own crypto equally.

Schwab’s quarterly data was collected from 142,000 users with balances between $5,000 and $10 million in their Schwab accounts. Zoomers (Gen Z) were not included as a category. To replicate these results, we collected data from BlockFi users with balances between $5,000 and $10 million in their BlockFi Interest Accounts.


BlockFi Crypto Ownership by Generation


The data revealed that across all generations of BlockFi usersMillennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, and even Gen Zthe most owned asset is crypto, far ahead of Stablecoin. As a refresher, Stablecoins are digital tokens that move on blockchain rails while having value backed by $1.00. BlockFi currently supports USDC and GUSD; for GUSD, Gemini holds every dollar that comes into the Stablecoin in reserve with State Street Bank. 

So, have we all melted into the “internet generation,” as Jack Ma calls it? Has bitcoin conquered Millennials’ wealth allocation strategy in a way that $NFLX couldn’t? And has BlockFi figured out a way to finally bring the Millennial currency of bitcoin to the valued demographic of Baby Boomers in a way that Charles Schwab would envy? Is it really impossible to tell apart crypto-owning Millennials from crypto-owning Boomers? Not so fast.


BlockFi Coin Ownership by Generation


Bitcoin is, of course, the most widely owned crypto-asset across generations. ETH is the second most owned currency after BTC for all generations except Boomers. So, at first glance, the only difference in generational preferences is that Boomers like to own Stablecoins more than Ether. But surely this is just an incidental statistical discrepancy given the general dominance of bitcoin relative to all other assets?

Taking a closer look at the numbers, it does appear that Boomers have figured out a way to carry their risk-averse, fiat-loving tendencies into the crypto sphere. According to the BlockFi proprietary Fiat-Preference Index, which benchmarks the portion of Stablecoin ownership relative to crypto, Boomers have a 46.8% higher preference for Stablecoins than Gen Z. Furthermore, there is a distinct generational trendline of Stablecoin preference from Gen Z to Boomers. In other words, as a portion of their portfolio Boomers have a 46.8% higher affinity for holding USDC and GUSD rather than BTC/ETH/LTC.


BlockFi Generational Fiat-Preference Index


This trend has actually played out before. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, U.S. Treasury yields went as high as 15% before starting a 40-year grind down to less than 1%. During this period, anyone who woke up with the belief that the U.S. would continue to exist by the end of that day could choose to get paid 15% just for having such a belief. The asset management industry productized the “60-40” portfolio, meaning a portfolio allocation of 60% stocks and 40% bonds, on the back of these high rates. Baby Boomers bought into this portfolio and profited en masse. The allocation to U.S. Treasuries simultaneously lowered overall volatility on these portfolios while giving them mark-ups as interest rates grinded down, with global money adding to U.S. Treasury allocations over the coming decades.What makes this divergence even more interesting is that BlockFi uses Stablecoins to fund bitcoin-collateralized loans. In other words, BlockFi’s Boomers are putting Stablecoins on the BlockFi platform to help fund loans for Gen Xers, Millennials, and Zoomers who want to borrow Stablecoin for productive economic purposes, including starting businesses, purchasing real estate, and buying more bitcoin. It’s the generational wealth transfer in action.

Analogously, anyone who wakes up today with the belief that bitcoin will continue to exist by the end of the day unlocks powerful financial options similar to those enjoyed by Boomers in the 1980s. These people may find that, of their total crypto exposure, it might be appropriate to allocate some amount of USD/Stablecoin to lend against crypto rather than just owning crypto. Since 2017, BlockFi has made such allocations possible for tens of thousands of users. Stablecoins posted to BlockFi’s platform are primarily used by BlockFi to fund bitcoin-collateralized lending, letting users fund the bitcoin ecosystem while limiting day-to-day volatility and earning an 8.6% APY. 

Just like Treasuries in the 1980s, we believe that bitcoin-collateralized loans, with credit risk tied to selling highly liquid bitcoin collateral, will become a major staple of portfolios for high-net-worth individuals (i.e., Baby Boomers), family offices, and, eventually, investment funds. We expect the continued allocation of liquidity into the crypto space enabled by lending will push the bitcoin price beyond its 2017 all-time high in the near future.

And regardless of what cryptocurrency you post with BlockFi, our Interest Payment Flex feature lets you receive interest denominated in bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, or Stablecoin. Gen Zers and Millennials can use this feature to receive monthly interest on their posted BTC in Stablecoin instead of bitcoin. This feature will allow future generations to roleplay what it was like to get interest payments in inflationary, non-appreciating Stablecoin rather than deflationary, moon-bound crypto.

We’re confident that outsized Millennial and Gen Z ownership of crypto will create generational wealth for Millennial and Gen Z families through the first global, intergenerational currency: bitcoin. But, for the time being, BlockFi’s Baby Boomers are happy to lend them Stablecoins for productive economic use and to lower the volatility of their own portfolios while increasing crypto exposure.

Whether you’re a Zoomer, a Millennial, or a Boomer, lending USD/Stablecoin against bitcoin at rates equivalent to LIBOR + 6% may be one of the world’s best risk-adjusted returns. BlockFi is here to help you allocate accordinglyall you have to do is believe that magic internet money won’t magically disappear anytime soon.