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Company & Executive Team Bios
As leaders in the decentralized identity space, Civic is focused on real-world applications of its blockchain-powered technology. The company offers flexible identity verification technology for businesses and is using digital identity as a gateway for decentralized finance on the Solana blockchain. Civic uses identity.com’s open-source, blockchain-based ecosystem to verify credentials. Civic was co-founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Vinny Lingham and Jonathan Smith.
Chris Hart, chief executive officer of Civic, is a collaborative leader with expertise in cryptocurrency, blockchain, and identity. He is also on the company’s board of directors. In his role at Civic, Chris’ priorities are leading strategic business development, aligning the business in a dynamic environment, and building a thriving global culture. He is a long-serving member of the Pat Tillman Foundation and is the vice-chair of the PTF board of directors. Chris previously served as CFO at Guidebook, Inc., and Nextag, Inc., and he brings more than two decades of outstanding senior finance, operations, and IT experience to Civic. Chris holds a BA in English and Philosophy from Emory University and an MBA in Finance from the University of San Francisco, where he graduated summa cum laude.
Co-Founder & CTO, Civic
Jonathan Smith is the chief technology officer and co-founder of Civic. In this role, he leads the creation of a trusted digital identity system, combining his passion for cryptocurrencies and token economies with his expertise in blockchain and banking technologies. As a seasoned entrepreneur and investor, Jonathan has served as an advisor to numerous blockchain projects. Prior to co-founding Civic, Jonathan led technology, innovation and delivery in some of the most complex and security-sensitive environments for some of the biggest names in investment banking. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Director of Risk & Compliance, Compliance Officer, Civic
Christopher Harding is the Director of Risk & Compliance, Compliance Officer at Civic. Chris brings more than a decade’s worth of global experience in high-level risk management roles. In his current role at Civic, he is supporting all areas of the business to develop and bring to market a compliance product for decentralized finance (DeFi). After working as a business consultant for more than a decade with KPMG, a leading global accounting and advisory firm, he joined the largest marketplace fintech lender, LendingClub, where he developed, formalized, and implemented new risk governance structures and risk management processes. Chris’ experience as a risk consultant and leader within the fintech industry complements Civic’s goal to bring the institutional mainstream into the world of DeFi.
Chris is passionate about fintech, cryptocurrency, DeFi, blockchain technology, and delivering new, innovative, and practical solutions that leverage cutting-edge technology to drive efficiency, security, and privacy.
Co-Founder & Chairman of the Board, Civic
Vinny Lingham is the chairman of the board and co-founder of Civic, a blockchain startup offering decentralized identity verification. He also joined the leading crypto investment fund, Multicoin Capital, as a General Partner in 2018. Previously, he was the co-founder and CEO of Gyft, a mobile gift card company, which was acquired by global payments leader First Data Corporation and prior to that, founding and exiting multiple other startups. He is an active investor and co-founder of South African Venture Capital leader Newtown Partners and has led early stage investments into successful startups, including SweepSouth. Vinny was a Shark on Shark Tank South Africa, a Dragon on Dragon’s Den South Africa, and an Angel in National Geographic’s Undercover Angel. He is a co-author of “I’m In: Essential Advice for Entrepreneurs.”