River is a bitcoin-only financial institution for buying and selling the digital currency (emphatically not an exchange; it says it’s “for the long-term investor”). Currently available only to testers who have received invites, the San Francisco-based outfit is working on an interface it hopes will be as slick as Jack Dorsey’s Square Cash, equipped with automatic recurring buys.
Wilkins brings C-level gravitas and cypherpunk bona fides to River. He was the CSO at Blockstream, an outfit dedicated to improving bitcoin technology with projects such as Liquid, for faster payments between exchanges and a system of satellites used to broadcast bitcoin block data from space.
Early in his career he worked at Zero Knowledge Systems, which built a forerunner to the anonymizing Tor network. (His title there was “adversary,” according to his LinkedIn profile.) Later he was a security architect at Microsoft, Zynga and Yelp.