Source: Phoenix Business Journal

 

A cardiologist-turned-biopharmaceutical executive has been hired as the new CEO for the Nexus Embassy, a Scottsdale-based blockchain nonprofit.

Dr. Ajay Ahuja was hired in March to lead the Nexus company, and he has big plans for the growing business that develops and maintains the Nexus blockchain/cryptocurrency software.

The Nexus Embassy, incorporated in Colorado and founded in August, is the steward of Nexus, the open-source blockchain technology and digital currency. The Nexus NXS cryptocurrency launched in September 2014 by Founder and Chief Architect, Colin Cantrell.

“The Nexus technology is poised to really be the next generation blockchain with improvements in terms of speed, scalability and security,” Ahuja said. “We’re growing, hiring coders and developers weekly to execute Colin’s architecture. We’re also working on use cases beyond cryptocurrency in order to have real-world applications.”

Ahuja plans to help move Nexus’ decentralized peer-to-peer-based system to other industries, including real estate, music and health care. Everything released by the Nexus Embassy is open source and given to the general public.

“We have a longer term goal of taking this peer-to-peer networking connectivity to ground-based mesh network and expanding that to interconnected ground and satellite-based mesh network utilizing the Nexus blockchain protocol,” he said.

A mesh network is a network where different computers talk to each other directly rather than a central hub. Blockchain technology is a decentralized digital ledger in which transactions made with cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly.

The global market for blockchain was $708 million in 2017 and is anticipated to reach $60.7 billion in 2024, according to the new study “Blockchain: Market Shares, Strategy, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2018 to 2024.”

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) are the three biggest companies driving blockchain as their clients are making the transition to cloud services.

The 32-employee Nexus company continues to hire coders/developers weekly. Ahuja wouldn’t give salary information but did say the company offers market rate depending on experience.

“We’re finding coders organically and through search terms,” said Ahuja, adding that the positions are not posted on the website. “If anyone is interested they can reach out to the company.”

The new CEO, and two other new members to the executive team, are part of the company’s plan to add experienced business leadership to its management team.

“The blockchain technology is going to transform the world in much the same way the internet did 20 years ago,” Ahuja said. “This will fundamentally change the way organizations interact.”

In December, Nexus announced it was partnering with Tucson-based Vector to bring its cryptocurrency into space.

Ahuja and the team are working to execute Cantrell’s vision for building out the blockchain and the “greater things this technology can do,” Ahuja said.

Before relocating to Scottsdale in March, Ahuja served as global head of medical affairs for Allergan Inc. in Jersey City, New Jersey.

He also held executive roles at Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) in Chicago and New York City, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Inc. in Chicago and Novartis International AG in Boston.

He graduated from Harvard Business School in 2003. He was the attending physician at Children’s Hospital Boston and stopped seeing patients in 2012.

Ahuja said he was motivated to move to the Valley and work with Cantrell because of his “visionary and motivating” tech innovations.

“Our goal to bring this to the world in an open-source format is truly visionary and I am delighted to be a part of this,” Ahuja said.

New marketing director Scott Bischoff, formerly with Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., was hired in April.

“My favorite part of Ajay and Scott joining the team is that they are coming from corporate careers to now pursue the vision of our nonprofit to empower people,” Cantrell said in a statement.

Hayley Ringle

Reporter
Phoenix Business Journal

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