Founded in 2015, the Monerium team backgrounds include central banking, finance and cloud services, financial regulation & compliance, and cryptocurrency. However different, we share the belief that the global financial system requires rebuilding, and that blockchains, e-money, and cryptocurrency play a foundational role in making finance more efficient and reliable.
The seeds of Monerium were sown in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. During this period, one of four founders played a key role in rebuilding a national financial system, another was investing in emerging technology startups and explaining bitcoin and blockchains in the media and at conferences, and two of the founders started and operated a widely used and global DNS service.
An engineer by training, Jon Helgi Egilsson (Co-Founder, Chairman) served as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Central Bank of Iceland post-2008 crisis. Previously, he was head of Capital Markets at Landsbanki Bank, co-founder of fintech company Mens Mentis, and an adjunct professor in financial engineering at Reykjavík University. As an activist, and later chair of the Central Bank, Jon Helgi played a key role in rebuilding the Icelandic economy post 2008, arguably one of the swiftest recoveries from one of the biggest systemic financial crises in history.
Sveinn Valfells, Ph.D. (Co-Founder, CEO) first transacted bitcoins in 2011 and has since given numerous interviews and presentations about cryptocurrency and blockchains in the global media and at leading conferences and institutions. Together with Jon Helgi, Sveinn participated in a non-partisan campaign which in 2011 successfully lobbied for a rejection of taxpayer guarantee of private bank debts amounting to 30% of GDP in a referendum in Iceland (Icesave). Prior to Monerium, Sveinn helped found, invested in, or served as employee and advisor to a number of tech companies and funds, including Atlas Genetics, deCode Genetics, Ingenuity Systems, Vodafone.is, Dimon Software, Arctic Ventures, and IQ Capital. He holds a Ph.D. (Boston University) and B.S. (Columbia) in physics, and an M.S. in economic systems (Stanford).
Gisli Kristjansson (Co-Founder, CTO) previously co-founded Appvise with Monerium Co-Founder, Hjortur Hjartarson. Gisli first discovered Bitcoin in 2013 and participated in the Ethereum Initial Coin Offering in 2014. Gisli is a Founding Board Member of the Icelandic Blockchain Foundation and has presented on blockchains to business and technical audiences at public and private conferences. Prior to Appvise, Gisli worked as a trader at a securities firm, HF Verðbréf. He holds a B.Sc. in mathematics (University of Iceland),
Hjortur Hjartarson (Co-Founder, COO) co-founded and managed Kapital, an advertisement agency and a software company. In 2011, Hjortur co-founded Appvise with Gisli, where he had served as head of design and operations. At Appvise, both co-founders focused on enabling a borderless internet, removing virtual barriers to the internet. It was also during this time that they learned the issues surrounding international transfers and remittances, including fees and jurisdictional inequity, as well as adding bitcoin as a payment option. Hjortur participated in the Ethereum Initial Coin Offering together with Gisli.
Monerium builds on the original vision of Satoshi Nakamoto of peer-to-peer payments without the intermediation of traditional financial institutions.