Founder of ConsenSys
Joseph Lubin is a co-founder of the Ethereum Project and the founder of ConsenSys, a full-stack blockchain venture studio and the world’s leading Ethereum accelerator. Through these endeavors, Lubin has earned a role as a guiding force in the fast-growing blockchain industry and a powerful advocate for decentralization technology.
Photo credit: Zaza Weissgerber
Founded in 2014, ConsenSys has cultivated a global presence, employing top entrepreneurs, computer scientists, protocol engineers, software developers, and experts in enterprise delivery. As one of the largest and most foundational entities in the blockchain technology space, ConsenSys’ worldwide Mesh of people, projects and companies builds the blockchain industry’s developer tools, decentralized applications, and solutions for enterprises and governments that harness the power of Ethereum. The organization was referred to by The New Yorker in 2018 as “the Ethereum community’s most prominent and ubiquitous developer and promoter of decentralized apps.”
Born and raised in Toronto, Lubin graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He worked in the Princeton Robotics Lab at Tomandandy Music developing an autonomous music composition tool and at private research firm Vision Applications Inc. building autonomous mobile robots. As a software engineer and consultant, Lubin worked with eMagine on the Identrus cryptographic payments and trade finance network project and was involved in the founding and operation of a hedge fund. He held positions as Director of the New York office of Blacksmith Software Consulting and VP of Technology in Private Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs. Through these posts, Lubin focused on the intersection of cryptography, engineering, and finance.
Inspired by Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin white paper and the potential of distributed systems to “shatter the silos of power and re-balance the information asymmetries that disadvantage so many,” Lubin delved into the incipient blockchain community. He was a primary figure in the creation and launch of Ethereum alongside fellow Torontonian Vitalik Buterin in 2014, and eventually moved to build an ecosystem around the nascent technology, in part by launching ConsenSys.
“With Lubin’s background in both tech and business, he quickly emerged as a key strategist and took the title of chief operating officer of the entity that would bring Buterin’s vision to fruition,” stated Newsweek. “After that, things moved fast.”
The subsequent rise of blockchain, cryptocurrency, and Ethereum has been one of the most remarkable stories in tech since 2016—a bonafide global phenomenon that resonates from hacker dens to Davos—and an entire industry has grown around decentralized networks and their associated digital assets.
“Bitcoin presented the broad strokes vision,” Lubin told the New York Times in 2016. “Ethereum presented the crystallization of how to deliver that vision.”
The Ethereum developer base, now in the hundreds of thousands, is an ardent community building with open source ideals and interoperable platforms in market segments ranging from supply chain to financial markets to intellectual property. Thousands of startups around the world are innovating new business models with Ethereum, and blockchain experimentation is now prevalent among the world’s leading organizations—banks, central banks, governments, and tech giants alike.
Concurrently, ConsenSys has incubated over 50 projects, including key infrastructural elements of the Ethereum network like Kaleido’s Blockchain-as-a-Service, MetaMask’s Web3 onramp, Truffle’s developer suite, PegaSys’s Pantheon mainnet and enterprise client, and Ethereum network essentials like Infura and Alethio. ConsenSys also incubates platforms and applications across a wide variety of industries, such as komgo, an international trade financing platform, and Viant, a supply chain track and trace platform. ConsenSys has had close association with another 50 or so projects via investment or through services like security auditing or token launching.
“The growth of ConsenSys, like the growth of Ethereum itself, has been explosive,” states Newsweek. “Today, the company has 1,000 employees, working in 28 countries, some from their homes or coffee shops, and many in sizable yet informal office setups in Brisbane, Brooklyn, Bucharest, Cape Town, Chicago, Dubai, Dublin, Hong Kong, London, Manilla, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Toronto, Washington and Waterloo.”
ConsenSys has been a central figure in the establishment of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, a global standards organization for business applications of Ethereum technology. The EEA now has over 500 members, including global business leaders including Accenture, CME Group, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Intel, banks like JPMorgan, Microsoft, Pfizer, law firms like Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, T-Mobile, and Wipro. The Brooklyn Project and projects like the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum have led research and regulation in the United States and Europe, ensuring a more equitable blockchain industry.
ConsenSys has also been noted for its commitment to decentralized organization in addition to its myriad successful spinouts, projects, and initiatives. “The company structure is inspired by Lubin’s utopian ideals,” states Newsweek. “Employees choose their own titles, and instead of a traditional deep hierarchy, there’s a flatter, agreements-based governance structure, a decentralized system of management where power is distributed among self-organizing teams.”
By now, it’s clear that blockchain technology will embed itself deep into the economic processes of the world. It’s just a matter of when. Through these early stages in the era of blockchain and cryptocurrency, Joe Lubin has proven a steady hand amidst the volatility. With all roads leading to Ethereum 2.0 and a fully mature industry of blockchains, Lubin believes the Ethereum ecosystem has reached critical mass and velocity: “Entrepreneurs and technologists are pouring into the ecosystem to build out the decentralized world wide web, Web 3.0. Once you’ve seen the profound implications of blockchain, you can’t unsee it. Each new wave of the hype cycle will bring larger and larger cohorts of builders and users. For these people, there is no turning back.”
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