William J Barhydt
Los Gatos CA
My passion is information technology and how it can be used to improve people's lives. Whether it's for mobile money, web browsers, education, cryptography, smart devices, robotics, or games I believe in the power of information technology and the people behind it to make a big difference.
I am the founder and CEO of Abra. Abra is the world's first digital currency application for smartphones that allows any consumer anywhere in the world to store and send money directly to another consumer no intermediary ever touching the money. Consumers can also become Abra Tellers (like Uber for money) and buy/sell digital currency from their phone on and off other consumers' phones.
Previously I was the founder & Chairman of Boom Financial which provides honest, socially responsible financial services to those who need it.
In addition to a bunch of start-ups including m-Via, Sennari, Plaxo and KnowNow, I was an early employee of Netscape where I designed hosted systems for telecom companies and retail banks, worked for Goldman Sachs designing trading systems and was a research engineer for both NASA and the CIA.
You may not know:
In Feb 2012 I gave the first ever TED talk on Bitcoin. Bitcoin was trading at $2 and 90% of the TED audience didn't know what it was.
In 2011 I helped form the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance (IDEA) with the U.S. State Department and USAID to facilitate better relations within migrant communities across the US and their families "back home."
Starting in 2003 I spent a year collaborating with some of the original cypherpunks on smart contracts technology. Some of this work was used at Sennari in designing our mobile wallet and digital currency system. Check out the "Colored Coin" project via google.
In 2000 I received the Technology Pioneer Award from the World Economic Forum for our work in online collaboration at WebSentric.
In 1998 I started WebSentric which was the first online meeting service that required no software install beyond a basic web browser.
In 1996 I helped design the first ever large scale web hosting business in Europe for one of our customers at Netscape. It was used by millions of people.
In my "free-time" I enjoy skiing, karting, reading and mountain running.