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Company & Executive Team Bios
As leaders in the decentralized identity space, Civic is focused on a few 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.
Vinny Lingham, CEO & Co-Founder, Civic
Vinny Lingham is the chief executive officer 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.”
Jonathan Smith, 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.
Chris Hart, COO, Civic
Chris Hart, Chief Operating Officer of Civic, is a collaborative leader with expertise in cryptocurrency, blockchain, and identity. 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.