3. Blythe Masters, CEO, Digital Asset Holdings
Blythe Masters is no stranger to new ideas. As an executive at JPMorgan Chase in the 1990s, she hit on the idea of offloading lending risk to another bank in exchange for a fee — the now-famous credit-default swap. Post-crisis, Masters is at the cutting edge of finance once again, helming the distributed ledger powerhouse Digital Asset Holdings. DAH minted one of the blockchain world’s first and largest real-world deals with the Australian Securities Exchange, which invested $10.5 million in DAH for the privilege of testing out its product. Masters’s involvement in blockchain was an important validation of the space, which some bankers looked askew at due to its association with bitcoin. Masters has also shown savvy in m&a, picking up the innovative Hyperledger team, whose technology now underpins a massive distributed ledger consortium that includes IBM, Accenture, R3 CEV — and Masters’s old employer, JPMorgan.