Jon Matonis

Jon Matonis is the Chief Economist at Cypherpunk Holdings Inc. and Founding Director of the Bitcoin Foundation.

Jon Matonis is widely recognised as a leading blockchain and Bitcoin researcher and monetary economist. He and is a non-executive board director for several notable companies in the space. Since 2012, his technology and security writings have appeared in publications such as Forbes, The Times, The Express, CoinDesk, Bitcoin Magazine, AmericanBanker, and PaymentsSource.

Jon is also a founding director for the Bitcoin Foundation which served as the industry’s first nonprofit trade association originally chartered to provide financial compensation for voluntary protocol code developers and to promote the vision of Bitcoin worldwide. His career has also included senior roles with Sumitomo Bank, VISA International VeriSign, and Hushmail, where he was CEO, and VISA International, where he was Chief Forex Trader.

An e-Money researcher and economist focused on expanding the circulation of nonpolitical digital currencies, Jon advises startups in Bitcoin, iGaming, mobile and prepaid. A columnist to Forbes Magazine and CoinDesk, Jon is also Editor of The Monetary Future, a leading economics blog at the intersection of free banking, cryptography, and digital currency. Previously CEO of Hushmail and Chief Forex Dealer at VISA, Jon has also held senior posts at Sumitomo Bank and VeriSign.


He started his career at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Chicago, where he worked as a senior derivatives and money market trader from 1986 to 1989. He managed interest rate risk and designed speculative positions in the derivatives market, responsible for trading a $1.5 billion book in money market positions and an $85 million proprietary book in futures and options. Additionally, he led a team that traded in the over-the-counter Fed Funds and Eurodollar markets for daily marked-to-market settlement with the Federal Reserve Bank.

From 1990 to 1995, Matonis worked for Visa International, where he served as the Chief Foreign Exchange Dealer and managed the trading division for 155 different currencies and over $30 billion in annual turnover. He negotiated with central banks, hedged overall financial exposure, and generated daily trading profits on VISA's worldwide clearing volume. He also developed profitability models for member banks and led the VISA regional offices on international cost studies for restructuring bank-to-bank interchange rates. In 1993, he successfully championed a landmark bank interchange fee restructuring which was passed by the Board of Directors and gave VISA a competitive advantage in the expanding worldwide ATM marketplace.

Matonis served as Director of Financial Services at VeriSign from 1995 to 1998. He led the domestic and international sales effort of VeriSign's security solutions to the financial services industry, including commercial banks, brokerages, and payment associations. His outstanding customer list included American Express, Bank of America, Discover, EuroPay, Fidelity Investments, MasterCard, Merrill Lynch, Reuters, Royal Bank of Canada, SWIFT, and VISA. His direct proposals to VISA and Discover Card resulted in the winning of early-stage contracts for VeriSign that generated its first $5 million in revenue.

From 2000 to 2002, Matonis was the CEO of Hush Communications, the creator of HushMail, the worldwide standard for encrypted messaging. During his tenure, the company achieved 80% market share of the secure email market and recruited world-renowned PGP creator, Phil Zimmermann, as its Chief Cryptographer.

Matonis served as the CEO of Cerebra from 2002 to 2004. Cerebra software platform was the company's core intellectual property providing an inference engine and an ontology creator for the semantic web. Originally funded by Nokia Ventures as Network Inference, the company was acquired by WebMethods [WEBM] in 2006.

From 2004 to 2012, Matonis worked as the Managing Director of Lydia Group, a private equity investing and digital payments consulting company in the areas of casinos and gaming, compliance, cryptography, digital currency exchanges, e-Money research, mobile payments, prepaid card programs, real estate, and risk management.

Matonis served as a non-executive Board Director of Tradehill, a bitcoin trading exchange, from 2012 to 2013. He also served as an Editorial Board Member of CoinDesk from September 2013 to January 2016. CoinDesk provides the latest Bitcoin and digital currency news, features, prices, and analysis. He authored expert business analysis articles and created the premier price index for bitcoin, known as the CoinDesk BPI [XBX]. The company was acquired by Digital Currency Group (DCG) in 2016.

Finally, Matonis co-founded the Bitcoin Foundation in September 2012 and served as its first Executive Director. He hosted the world's largest Bitcoin conference during May 2014 in Amsterdam. Matonis also served as a Board Director of NexPay at Globitex.

Matonis is currently the board member of Cypherpunk Holdings Inc., a blockchain and cryptocurrency investment firm that focuses on acquiring and investing in privacy-focused projects and technologies. 

Published Work

Jon Matonis has been actively involved in the finance and technology industry for several years and has published works in various publications. He was a columnist for American Banker and PaymentsSource where he covered topics such as financial privacy, free banking, and cryptocurrencies. Additionally, he was a contributing editor and editorial board member for Coindesk Ltd., a popular digital media platform that covers news and analysis on cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and decentralized applications.

In 2012, Jon Matonis served as an editorial board member and contributor for Bitcoin Magazine, a publication that focused on Bitcoin and related topics. He also wrote columns for Forbes Magazine covering payments, cryptography, and digital currency. Jon's work has not only been limited to digital currencies but also includes research papers in traditional finance.

One such research paper is "The Political Appropriation of the Monetary Unit" which was published in 1985. In this paper, he examines the factors contributing to and culminating in the political appropriation of the monetary unit by outlining the stages of the politicizing or nationalizing process. He also published an article in The Journal of the London School of Economics Hayek Society in 1996, titled "Digital Cash and Monetary Freedom." This paper discusses the benefits of digital cash in achieving monetary freedom.


Jon Matonis envisions a future where digital currencies, decentralized applications, and blockchain technologies will transform the financial services industry. With his vast experience in finance and technology, Jon sees the potential for cryptocurrencies to bring about financial privacy and freedom, and he advocates for the adoption of digital currencies as a means of achieving these goals. 

He has been at the forefront of the cryptocurrency movement since co-founding the Bitcoin Foundation and continues to contribute to the development of this rapidly evolving industry. As a board member of Cypherpunk Holdings, Jon is committed to investing in privacy-focused projects and technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the way we think about money and financial transactions.

Recognition and Awards
As Editor of The Monetary Future, Jon runs one of the leading economics blogs that explore the intersection of free banking, cryptography, and digital currency. His expertise in the field has earned him numerous accolades, including being named the DGC Magazine person of the year in 2011. Jon's deep knowledge and experience in the finance and technology industries make him a highly sought-after expert and valuable asset to any organization he is involved in. Jon's extensive experience and knowledge in the finance and technology industries make him a valuable asset to any organization he is involved in. His achievements have earned him numerous accolades, including being named e-Money Specialist by Digital Gold Currency Magazine and the DGC Magazine person of the year in 2011.

Jon Matonis
Blockchain and Bitcoin researcher, monetary economist
Known for
Bitcoin Foundation (Founding Director)
DGC Magazine Person of the Year (Digital Gold Currency Magazine, 2011)
Economics and Computer Software Engineering (University of Maryland), BA (Economics and Monetary Theory, The George Washington University)
Social Media
Sun Mar 03 2024

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