James Shinn, Executive Director at Bitt: Geopolitical Threats, Central Bank Digital Currencies and the Transformational Opportunities of the Digital Economy.


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James Shinn, Digital Currency Economist, Executive Director at Bitt, is a special level of polymath. He has filled his life with four successful careers in technology, finance, academia, and government. Read on for a brief highlights tour.


Following time at AMD, Jim co-founded Dialogic, one of the first telecommunications firms using digital signal processing. Ultimately, it was sold to Intel. He was then an advisor or co-founder for various tech startups, including cybersecurity firm Haystack Labs, and data analytics firm Predata.


Jim was the Assistant Secretary of Defense where his responsibilities included some of the United States of America’s most global complex issues, including North Korea and China. He was also involved in developing DOD’s policies for the war in Afghanistan, for which he gained the reputation for realistic analysis as well as the Defense Department’s highest civilian medal. Jim has also worked at the CIA and the Office of the National Director of Intelligence. Most recently, he focused on the question of technology issues and China from a national interest point of view for the State Department.


Jim’s career started as a commercial banker for Chase. He continued to add a number of FinTech companies to the list of startups that he co-founded or advised, including Longitude, a derivatives trading platform and Kenshō Financial, a financial data analytics firm.


Jon first met Jim 20 years ago when he and his co-author Peter Govi, were examining corporate governance issues following the collapse of Enron and WorldCom. The book they wrote brilliantly analyzes the links between governance, finance, and politics. Jim has also written books and articles with such stars as Jeffrey Garton, Richard Arbitrage, Harold Brown and Bob Zelnik. Jim was a visiting lecturer at Princeton for eight years.

His latest undertaking is helping central banks develop digital currencies which he talks with Jon about on this episode of Outside In. They also discuss geopolitics and US foreign policy monetary policy and the digital economy and self sovereign identity for Web3.

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