Meet the Team

We believe in the power of decentralized teams that share a common goal and enjoy working together to achieve that goal and more. Meet the key members working on the ecosystem.

  • Phillip Shoemaker

    Executive Director & Board Member

    Phillip brings over 20 years of experience in the mobile space to Phillip helped build the Apple App Store including building the review operations team to over 300 people, writing the guidelines with Steve Jobs, and testifying with global government authorities. Most recently Phillip has been advising and investing in startups, focusing on blockchain, iOS Apps, and augmented reality. He is passionate about giving back through technology.

  • Martin Riedel


    Martin is Co-Chair of the Claims & Credentials Group at the Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), and previously led innovation at Civic with the development of the first decentralized credential marketplace. Recently, he was a Research Engineer at Consensys Mesh, focused on the application of cutting-edge layer 2 identity technologies like identifier registration and discover and anonymous credential revocation list.

  • Seamus Hennessy

    Product Manager

    Seamus is a technologist and joined the team after several years in early-stage venture capital where he both invested in and helped to design several web3 token economies. Prior to this, he was completing his thesis which looked at the intersection of economics and blockchain, exploring various economic schools of thought and how they could be applied to a web3 future. Seamus has a Masters in Economics specializing in Development Economics from the University of Cape Town.

  • Daniel Kelleher

    Technical Advisor

    Daniel has over ten years experience in the fields of finance, e-justice and blockchain, and holds a PhD in computer science from Trinity College, Dublin. He is dedicated to finding trustworthy, secure and decentralized technological solutions to improve the lives of people around the world.

  • Brett Etter

    Sr. Rust Engineer

    Brett is currently a Senior Rust Blockchain Engineer at where he works heavily with the Solana Blockchain to create On-Chain Programs in the identity and crypto space. He majored in Computer Science at Texas A&M and is a mentor at WESTA.

  • William Brooks

    Sr. Software Engineer

    William has over fifteen years experience in system architecture, with previous positions as CTO of Methys, Solutions Architect at Cytrus, and a Senior Developer at Clicks2Customer. He is a dedicated engineer, and immerses himself in new technologies as a way to become an expert.

  • Vinny Lingham

    Board Member

    Vinny Lingham is the chief executive officer and co-founder of Civic, a visionary company enabling consumers to securely send and receive money, including cryptocurrencies, around the world. Previously, he was the co-founder and CEO of Gyft, a mobile gift card company, which was acquired by First Data Corporation for more than $50M. He is an active investor and as co-founder of Newton Partners in South Africa, he has led early stage investments into successful startups.

  • Llew Claasen

    Chairman of the Board

    Llew is the Managing Partner of early-stage venture capital firm Newtown Partners. He is a go-to-market strategist & corporate innovation lead with two decades of executive management experience in cryptoassets, digital product management and digital marketing. He co-founded Clicks2customers, a global digital marketing agency with annual billings in excess of $100 million. Llew is also the former Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation.

  • James Kilroe

    Board Member

    James is a Zurich-based entrepreneur and former Senior Associate at Newtown Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm. At Newtown, James led the team which redesigned the patented CVC token model. Now, James is running an algorithmic-based hedge fund in Zurich. James is passionate about the intersection of technology, business and policy and how this will shape the future.