Blockchain Connected

The new dedicated network for the blockchain community in Wales.

What is Blockchain Connected?
Blockchain Connected is the new dedicated network for the blockchain community in Wales. It has been created by and sits within the Technology Connected organisation to represent and unite the blockchain community.

About us

What We Do

Blockchain Connected will aim, to build and promote the profile and adoption of Blockchain technologies and organisations in Wales and beyond.
Through our work we are:







We connect people, technologies and industry to Blockchain

Enable industries to adopt this new technology

Develop the next generation of talent required

Innovate by bringing together the best minds in academia and industry

Influence stakeholders on the significance of blockchain and its potential for the economy

Champion its interests, putting our capabilities on the global stage


Blockchain Connected Council

The Blockchain Connected Council consists of esteemed panellists and is Chaired by Dr Cerian Jones


All members of Blockchain Connected council are unpaid, and no individuals derive financial gain from anything that they do in respect of BC. While organisations are welcomed as sponsors, that doesn’t mean that any particular company, individual or organisation has more say, influence or significance than another within blockchain connected. We do not hold an official view or persuasion relating to one protocol or cryptocurrency versus another, and are agnostic to such matters.  We welcome constructive input, participation and debate involving all parties within the blockchain/crypto communities, regardless of their perspectives on the inventorship of Bitcoin, protocol differences and other blockchain-related topics.  What we won’t accommodate, however, are unfounded and defamatory comments aimed at individuals or blockchain connected.


Dr. Cerian Jones

Nicola McNeely

Jack Davies

Dr. Yingli Wang

David Blake

Sharon Henley

Thane Hall

Avril Lewis

Dr Imtiaz Khan

Omer F. Rana

Nish Kotecha

Gavin Powell

Dr. Cerian Jones

Founder, Entheos IP

After gaining a PhD in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) and lecturing in Computer Science for many years, Cerian took a career change and became a patent attorney, specialising in the protection of software-implemented inventions.

As the owner of Entheos IP consultancy, she works with entrepreneurs and innovators from across Wales, the UK and the world to ring fence and defend their intellectual property. Areas of particular specialisation include FinTech and cyber security (she was a co-founder of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster), and is one of few patent attorneys with in-depth technical and legal experience of blockchain, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency technologies

Nicola McNeely

Partner, Head of Technology Sector, Harrison Clark Rickerbys Solicitors

Whilst working with entrepreneurial and innovative people in Wales and across the UK, especially in advanced manufacturing and technology businesses, Nicola’s focus is on working closely with clients to solve their problems and really understand how
their businesses work.

Nicola has worked on secondment to the Royal Mint at Llantrisant, focusing on new business and intellectual property, but also for clients in a range of sectors on software outsourcing agreements, blockchain solutions and EMI schemes. Giving businesses the right legal infrastructure to enable them to develop and grow is important to Nicola and therefore Nicola has found her non-executive director role with Business in Focus, supporting Welsh businesses, fascinating.

Jack Davies

Senior Strategy Manager at nChain

Jack Davies is a Senior Strategy Manager at nChain, specialising in cryptographic applications, network theory and data protocols for Bitcoin-based systems. Jack has been working in the field since 2017 immediately after completing an undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences (Physical) at Cambridge University. In his research, Jack has helped develop a number concepts relating to novel usage of the blockchain. A notable example of his work is the Metanet, a framework for a value-based internet, which Jack has contributed to in his role at nChain, and which he publicly detailed at the 2019 CoinGeek Toronto conference. Other significant contributions include his work on simplified payment verification (SPV) and in examining the layered-network structure of Bitcoin.

One of Jack’s key interests is furthering education in blockchain, both in corporate and academic circles. In the past 6 months, Jack has given guest lectures at the University of Swansea, and several London-based institutions on the economic theory of Bitcoin. In addition, Jack is one of the co-founders of the BSV Wales blockchain meetup group, where he has helped run educational events, seeking to improve the quality of information disseminated throughout Wales’ technology industries.

Dr. Yingli Wang

Reader in logistics and operations management at Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University.

Yingli specialises and researches in digital transformation and technological innovations in supply chains. One of her research priorities is blockchain/distributed ledger technology and its integrative use with other digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet of things and cloud computing. She is currently involved in a number of blockchain initiatives internationally, for instance she sits as a blockchain supply chain expert for World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, shaping the trajectory of blockchain deployment in supply chains towards interoperability, integrity and inclusivity.

In the UK, she’s been working with a few organisations from the construction and fintech sectors exploring the deployment of blockchain for value creation. She is keen in raising awareness and sharing knowledge about blockchain in supply chain and has delivered in collaboration with industrial partners a master class on blockchain at RICS Digital Built Environment Conference 2019 (London) and a webinar on blockchain’s role in the circular economy for the World Built Environment Forum. She is also one of the core contributors to the Blockchain Deployment Toolkit recently launched by World Economic Forum, which can
be accessed here. Dr. Wang is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).  Before embarking on her academic career, she worked for about 8.5 years at Nestlé China in various senior managerial roles.

David Blake

Investment Director – Deepbridge Capital LLP

David is a qualified financial professional and technologist with a broad experience having worked across numerous sectors, including; power generation, ad-tech, medical devices and defence/aerospace.

As Investment Director at Deepbridge, David’s role is to support the commercialisation and growth of a number of Deepbridge’s portfolio companies, whilst also working on a number of future funding opportunities.

David’s previous role as an Investment Executive at the Development Bank of Wales’ Technology Investments team allowed him to lead investment rounds into a number of fast growing technology companies across a variety of sectors, including; Space, AgTech, FinTech and Enterprise Software.

David is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and holds a distinction in a MSc in Computing, bringing with him a combination of practical skills and experiences from finance and technology for early stage technology companies.

In particular through his knowledge and expertise in blockchain technologies he has led investments into 4 Welsh based businesses that are leveraging blockchain technologies and is currently a portfolio director of the company whose blockchain technology underpinned the first electronic trade undertaken within the UK Electronic Trade Documents Act.

Sharon Henley

Sharon Henley has been in the blockchain space for over six years now and is well known in the space.

Sharon got her start in blockchain and crypto while Head of Marketing at the Royal Mint, where she was responsible for launching The Royal Mint’s blockchain venture- Royal Mint Gold (RMG); a tradable, digital, direct ownership of gold. More recently she serves as CPO for Coincover, the #1 brand in crypto security delivering FCIS like Deposit Protection and insurance back theft cover for crypto assets. She is a non-executive director for and was co-founder of The British Blockchain and Frontier Technologies Association. Sharon has more than 20 years of international experience at top brands, including Canon, Microsoft, Xerox, DuPont and Nikon where she delivered innovative programs requiring complex strategy focused on growth and revenue, and has worked extensively in both Silicon Valley and London. She holds 8 technology patents.

Thane Hall

Digital Trust Solution Architect and Product Line Manager at Thales

Thane has been with Thales for 14 years mainly working on projects around Defence and Security and over the last three years has been looking at Blockchain applications associated with supply chains and asset tracking. Thane has explored the benefits and challenges to Blockchain adoption in this application space for both internal use cases and for customer requirements alike. Thane setup and ran the Bristol Blockchain Meetup Group for 18 months which also brought him into close contact with teams working in other Blockchain application spaces.

Avril Lewis

Managing Director, Technology Connected

Avril was appointed Managing Director of Technology Connected, formerly the ESTnet, in May 2012.

Her background is in the semiconductor industry, and she was awarded the MBE for services to the technology industry in Wales in 2018. Avril is an influential and energetic leader with highly developed communication and interpersonal skills, and thrives as a catalyst for change.

Dr Imtiaz Khan

Reader in Data Science at Cardiff Metropolitan University

Dr Imtiaz Khan is a Reader in Data Science at Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK with a mission to increase the veracity and value of big data. Having a PhD in Bioinformatics from Cardiff University, UK and a postdoctoral fellowship from Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, USA, his research focuses on heterogeneous data integration and interpretation through visualisation. At present his research interest includes provenance, blockchain, data modelling, data interoperability, interactive data visualisation, machine learning and IoT integrated mobile app development. He leads the Centre for Industry 4.0 and Blockchain Research (CI4BCR) at Cardiff Met and also founded the Hub for Distributed Technologies and Future Societies, a multidisciplinary research cluster investigating
the impact of distributed technologies like blockchain on future societies. He is also the programme director for the BSc Apprenticeship Data Science programme.

Omer F. Rana

Professor of performance engineering at Cardiff University in the School of Computer Science & Informatics

Omer F. Rana is a professor of performance engineering at Cardiff University in the School of Computer Science & Informatics, with expertise in high performance distributed computing & data science. He is also the Dean of International for the Physical Sciences and Engineering College at Cardiff University, responsible for coordinating partnerships in Education & Research with institutions in the US, Brazil, China and India. He co-leads the “Scalable Blockchains & Parachain” working group under IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society (TEMS)’s Technical Committee on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs). This group focuses on bringing together a global research & development community on improving transaction rates of blockchain/DLTs, supporting DLTs in emerging applications (such as energy grids, transport systems & internet of things) where scalability is a key requirement. As part of the Chinese MoE “111” programme, he is a visiting professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and formerly a visiting professor at Princess Noura University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

He was formerly the deputy director of the Welsh eScience Centre and had the opportunity to interact with a number of computational scientists across Cardiff University and the UK. Rana has contributed to specification and standardisation activities via the Open Grid Forum and worked as a software developer with London-based Marshall Bio-Technology Limited prior to joining Cardiff University, where he developed specialist software to support biotech instrumentation. He was a mentor to two startup companies as part of the “Internet of Things Accelerator Wales” programme — a partnership between Innovation Point, The Accelerator Network (TAN), Barclays Eagle Labs, Inspire Wales and the Development Bank of Wales. He  contributed to public understanding of science, via the Wellcome Trust funded “Science Line”, in collaboration with BBC and Channel 4. Rana holds a PhD in “Neural Computing and Parallel Architectures” from Imperial College (London Univ.), an MSc in Microelectronics (Univ. of Southampton) and a BEng in Information Systems Eng. from Imperial College (London Univ.). He serves on the editorial boards (as Associate Editor) of IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, (formerly) IEEE Transactions on Cloud Computing, IEEE Cloud Computing magazine and ACM Transactions on Internet Technology. He is a founding-member and associate editor of ACM Transactions on Autonomous & Adaptive Systems.

Nish Kotecha

Co-Founder & Chairman, Finboot

Nish Kotecha, is an tech entrepreneur and investment banking professional. Nish is the Executive Chairman and Co-founder of Finboot (London, Barcelona). 

Finboot (Cardiff, London, Barcelona) is a technology company that gives its world class customers a competitive edge through accelerating their digital transformation, realising value and building trust through blockchain.

Previously, he founded Geosansar, a fintech pioneer in India delivering financial inclusion, combining technology and traditional opening models to deliver banking, payments, insurance and credit products.

Previously, Nish held senior positions at Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan and BZW/Barclays. 

Nish has been a key player in supporting enterprise and entrepreneurship in the UK through his pro bono roles. He was the founder of TIE UK and formerly a Global Trustee; He is also a SME Panel Member, Business Banking Resolution Service; Deputy Chair London of Chamber of Commerce & Industry & Chairman of London Chamber of Arbitration and Mediation amongst others.

Gavin Powell

Chief Enterprise Operations Officer & ESG Lead, QPQ

Gavin is currently Operations Principle for QPQ. Having a rich background that covers technology, innovation and its whole lifecycle from conception to commercialisation. Initially gaining a PhD in artificial intelligence and working across defence, medical, aerospace and finance and sectors, with the inclusion of a growing focus around ESG, sustainability and net-zero where Gavin supports UK government through expert panels. Gavin has transitioned from writing code to acquisition and delivery of large scale programs and portfolios and now enjoys the rapid transition and growth that QPQ are displaying.

Members of Blockchain Connected council are unpaid and do not receive financial reward for activities conducted on behalf of Blockchain Connected.  We welcome sponsorship from all organisations that are interested in supporting our efforts for the advancement of blockchain related technology in Wales.  Blockchain Connected does not hold an official view or persuasion relating to one blockchain protocol or cryptocurrency versus another and as an organisation we are agnostic to such matters.  We encourage and actively seek constructive input, participation and discussion from all parties, regardless of their perspectives on issues of debate within the blockchain/cryptocurrency community.  Unfounded, divisive or defamatory comments are not acceptable and will not be tolerated, but we hope that people will join us in the spirit of unity, progress and collaboration that motivates our efforts.

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