CoinDesk has learned that Mike Hearn, Senior Platform Engineer at Enterprise Blockchain Builder R3, is stepping down from his position with the company.
Hearn will stay with R3 but only as a technical advisor, according to a memo sent to the company’s employees on Friday.
Hearn has long had ambitions to expand its offerings and start new projects, the memo said.
“Mike’s plans include his own projects as well as the appointment as technical advisor to the R3 Executive Committee. To support the former, he will become CEO of his new company and switch to his ongoing R3 advisory role, ”it says.
Hearn, who joined R3 in 2016, was instrumental in creating the Corda platform with CTO Richard G. Brown. Most recently, Hearn oversaw the recently launched Conclave system, which was built using Intel’s SGX technology.
Prior to joining R3, Hearn was one of the leading early developers developing Bitcoin’s core software, and he is one of the few who has had email conversations with Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto. In early 2016, he gave up the project in a very public way. Previously, he was a senior software engineer and technical director at Google.
Hearn didn’t immediately return requests as to whether he could re-enter the Bitcoin ecosystem or the public blockchain world in general.
Enterprise blockchain, once the rallying cry of big companies, now seems firmly in the low point of disenchantment, with clear signs of atrophy at R3 rival IBM, where former employees and other insiders said the primary blockchain team was all but dissolved been.