Meet the Team - 5 Minutes With Technical Product Manager Justin Maxwell

November 2018
Each week, we sit down with a member of the Blockpass team to learn where they come from, what their day to day looks like, and what they love about blockchain.

Where are you from and what is your work background?

I was born in Scotland, raised in New Zealand and I’m now living in London. I have worked as a Solutions Architect across a broad range of industries, both internally within corporates and as a consultant for almost 25 years.  

As a side-project in 1995, I created and operated one of New Zealand’s first dial-up ISPs, i-Max. My next foray into the start-up-world would not be until 2013, when I founded Tibit, an online micro-tipping and micro-payments platform.  


What is your role at Blockpass?

Initially, I was involved in managing the establishment of the Blockpass Identity Lab at Edinburgh Napier University. Subsequently, managing the set up of the new permanent London office for Blockpass was a significant part of my role.  

Throughout this time, I became increasingly involved in the various Blockpass products which led to me being asked to take on the role of Technical Product Manager, and to be largely based out of the yet-to-be-established Singapore technical hub.    


What do your daily activities look like?

It’s constantly changing, but looking forward my role will include things like working on the product roadmap, writing functional specifications, gathering and formalising product feedback. Developing business processes that envelop and streamline the development and enhancement of the product set, and most importantly the customer experience, will be key.

I report to Thomas, our CTO, and will be working alongside Sylvain, our VP of Engineering. Liaising between the technical engineering team and other Blockpass teams will be a big part of the role.


How did you get involved in Blockpass?

I met Adam, now Blockpass’ CEO, in the early days of Tibit. Adam provided us with great regulatory advice for our novel product in the payments industry. When Tibit reached the end of the road, I gratefully accepted when Adam reached out to say he thought he might have a role for me.


What’s your favourite blockchain related benefit?

Decentralisation and democratisation.

While the open blockchains still have power-centers, they are not entrenched as they are in other spheres.  Any importance an individual or organisation might have lasts only as long as the community as a whole decides it should.

This brings about a unique dynamic, a drive for continuous improvements that must win the community consensus.     


Where do you see the industry headed over the next 5 years?

I’ve tried to refrain from making predictions over such long timescales.  

I think we’re into a new period where the utilisation of blockchain technology will slowly begin to gain more mindshare, compared to the technology itself.  This will garner less hype and media for some time, but is more exciting in the long run.

Separately, I think cryptocurrencies are now in a slow burn.  There will probably be a slow consolidation, and adoption will slowly creep in from the edges towards the mainstream, over many years.


If you could spend an hour with anyone from history, who would it be and why?

Kurt Gödel, a year or two after publishing his Incompleteness Theorems.  

He found a way (with apologies for over-simplification and dramatisation) to deploy only the tools of formal logic, to logically prove that formal logic is broken, while remaining mostly sane.

He discovered, and then paved for the rest of us, a complex and convoluted road to an arguably beautiful and certainly perplexing destination.  Every since, debate has raged amongst those who choose to ‘go there’ around what his theorem might say about free will, the human mind, theism, rationality, and a lot more besides.

I don’t know what we’d talk about, but I know it would be mind-bending.

Here’s one entrance to the rabbit-hole for anyone curious: 


To get in touch with Justin, email [email protected]