The bleeding edge is knocking at our door, and we are working every day to answer it.

We want to empower the hearts and minds of capable innovators who are stuck with technology that can’t solve their problems. We see age-old problems in the world that can be solved in entirely new ways, and we feel compelled to do something about it.
 
We believe that blockchains will fundamentally transform how companies connect to solve industry-wide problems. This technology will establish levels of trust and transparency that will inspire new business models and services that mutually benefit individuals and institutions. We understand the challenges, but we see the potential for a smarter, freer world that we want to be a part of. 

About Gem

Core Values

Make it Happen

As individuals, our innate sense of agency means we never wait around for something to happen, but actively seek ways to contribute.

Do the Essential

We have the discipline for discerning what is most important, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the greatest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.

Empower Others

Our success depends on our ability to make others successful - both our partners and our teammates. When we empower the people around us, their contribution multiplies our efforts.

Destroy Your Masterpiece

We believe in complete dedication to our craft in everything we do at Gem, but we maintain the humility to destroy our masterpiece, and resign our need to be right, when superior solutions emerge.

Craft an Experience

We believe in the importance of a holistic experience, so everything we create must come from both a complete understanding of what our partners need and a vision for what will bring them delight.

Seek Knowledge

Nothing is more intrinsically rewarding than expanding our skillsets and knowledge. By engaging with people who look at the world in different ways, we are constantly challenged to learn from others, as well as share our own knowledge to help them grow.

About Gem

Leadership

Micah Winkelspecht

Founder, CEO

Micah Winkelspecht

Founder, CEO

Micah Winkelspecht is the CEO and Founder of Gem. Micah has been active in bitcoin since 2012. In the early days, Micah established an active Bitcoin community in Los Angeles and grew it to over 1,000 members. Micah is also a significant contributor to the blockchain developer community as the author of MoneyTree, a popular open-source library used to create blockchain wallets and the first Ruby implementation of a Bitcoin HD wallet. Prior to his contributions to blockchain technology, Micah spent 10+ years developing software for companies including AT&T Interactive, Guide Financial and Pose.

When it was founded, Gem offered security-as-a-service for developers building on top of Bitcoin. As blockchain technology popularized, Gem was increasingly approached by financial institutions to apply our security to other digital assets. We designed GemOS to expand security beyond digital assets, to apply it to identity, data, and logic frameworks that can be implemented on a blockchain. Today, Gem works with leaders in finance, healthcare, insurance and beyond.

Chitra Ragavan

Chief Communication Officer

Chitra Ragavan

Chief Communication Officer

Chitra Ragavan is the Chief Communications Officer at Gem. She works closely with the CEO and with Gem’s teams to communicate Gem’s technology, product, brand, and culture to customers, press, and investors.
Prior to Gem, Chitra served for eight years as senior strategic advisor to the CEO of Palantir Technologies, the $20 billion dollar Silicon Valley unicorn. Chitra brought unique qualifications to her role as a strategic advisor: her wealth of long-term trusted relationships; the ability to wrestle complex issues to the ground; and a national reputation for integrity and excellence.
Prior to joining Palantir, Chitra was a nationally recognized reporter. Her credentials include: chief legal affairs correspondent, U.S. News & World Report, and correspondent, National Public Radio (NPR). Chitra has a Masters degree in journalism from the University of Georgia, and a Bachelors degree in biochemistry and biology from the University of Mumbai, India.

Chitra’s Road to Gem:

University of Mumbai –> University of Georgia –>  WTTW-Chicago –> NPR –> U.S.News & World Report–> Palantir–> Gem

Siva Kannan

VP, Engineering

Siva Kannan

VP, Engineering

Born in Hyderabad, India, Siva’s formative years with math and physics included solving logic problems with his mathematician grandfather, sticking a math instrument into an electric socket to discover what electricity felt like, and outrunning a cyclist crossing his path by calculating their mutual velocities. After graduating from the University of Madras, Siva worked at  Microsoft, Symantec, and myDevices. Siva thrives on running, skydiving, bungee jumping, and teaching driving to new Indian immigrants. The low point of that experience occurred on Seattle’s SR 520 Floating Bridge during a torrential downpour, when Siva realized that his panicked student driver suffered from aquaphobia. Siva joined Gem to combine his passions for building operating systems, securing operating systems and platforms, and creating IoT platforms.

Siva’s Road to Gem:

University of Madras –> Microsoft –> Symantec –> myDevices –> Gem

Jeff Shelton

VP, Product

Jeff Shelton

VP, Product

Jeff grew up on the sandy beaches of Maui where his family had been working in the sugar industry since the 40’s. An avid golfer and go to caddie for Michael Jordan and other celebrities in Maui, Jeff made a difficult move to Seattle, where he earned a dual degree in Creative Literature and Cinema Studies at the University of Washington. Jeff worked in every medium and genre, making music videos, producing documentaries, online content, and educational materials, as he wound his way from the Independent Feature Project in Seattle to Madonna’s Maverick Films, then Content House, Crash.tv, New York Times Baseline, and finally, Studymode. His body of creative, consumer, and enterprise focused work brought Jeff home to Gem. While not at work , Jeff is an active leader in the product community and currently sits on the board of directors for the Product Managers Association of Los Angeles.

Jeff’s Road to Gem:

Maui –> University of Washington –> IFP (Seattle) –> Maverick –> Content House –> Crash.tv –> New York Times Digital (Baseline) –> StudyMode –> Gem

Joshua Lederman

VP, Solutions

Joshua Lederman

VP, Solutions

Joshua grew up in Yardley Pennsylvania, north of Philadelphia, among five other siblings. He graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Geographic Information Sciences. Post college, Joshua pursued a career involving GIS  and civil service by joining the intelligence community. He came across Palantir Technologies in its early stages and decided to take on the risk and challenge of being part of building a nascent data intelligence platform.  Over the next five and a half years at Palantir, Joshua worked across industries ranging from DoD counterterrorism work, counterproliferation/export supply chains, cyber security, local law enforcement, and standing up a philanthropic project with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. With his Palantir chapter closed, Joshua wanted to pursue his next endeavor with a company that really wanted to make a big impact in the way people interact. He found Gem.

Joshua’s road to Gem:

Pennsylvania State University –>  Intelligence Community –> Intelligence Community Contractor –> Palantir –> Gem

Emily Vaughn

Head of Accounts

Emily Vaughn

Head of Accounts

Emily grew up in South Mississippi, where she learned to sail and survive hurricanes, though thankfully not in the same day. She made a small but timely investment into bitcoin in 2012, a decision that prompted and financed an abrupt personal pivot that eventually landed her a career in the industry. Emily is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where she now supports student innovation as a founding chairperson to the Board of Advisors for the Office of Community Affairs. Emily travels constantly, a lifestyle that suits her nomadic nature, but when she dreams of peace, it’s on a quiet farm in Tennessee. She spends her time doodling, discovering new music, watching Vine compilations and Rihanna music videos. The opportunity to join Gem was nothing short of serendipitous. Emily didn’t think twice and hasn’t looked back.

Emily’s Road to Gem:

University of Alabama –>  CBD Wealth Management –> BitPay –> Gem

Our Team

Prasanna Kumar Dhandapani

Full Stack Engineer

Prasanna Kumar Dhandapani

Full Stack Engineer

Prasanna was born in Coimbatore, India, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. He came to the United States for a Masters degree in Computer Science at the University of Southern California. One of his university projects involved working with a horse racing enthusiast to predict the winner of a horse race with 50 percent accuracy, and creating better betting strategies to maximize the profit on any given day. After graduating, Prasanna worked at several companies to implement computer security standards and developing applications around it. In his free time, Prasanna enjoys playing pool and darts.

Prasanna joined Gem to work on next generation technology with a passionate group of people.

Prasanna’s Road to Gem:

PSG College Of Technology –> EMC Data Storage Systems –> University of Southern California –> Bitium –> Gem

Carlo Paolo Espiritu

Creative Director

Carlo Paolo Espiritu

Creative Director

Carlo Paolo was born a stone’s throw from Manila, Philippines, where he was exposed early on to storytelling at standing-room only cinemas. After moving to Los Angeles in 1987, he earned an MA in visual arts at Cal State Northridge. Post-college, Carlo hustled his way across the entertainment industry, producing music videos, commercials and advertising campaigns. In 2010, Carlo moved to New York to join the innovation strategy and design firm, Fahrenheit 212. After 5 years at the firm, he joined an early stage health tech venture, while running his own independent creative development and design studio. Returning to Los Angeles, Carlo found Gem through a former colleague and was drawn to Gem’s nascent technology, spirit of innovation, and a great team with a provocative mission. When not working, Carlo dreams about drum machines, strip mall omakase sushi, and travels with his wife April Joy, his baby girl Fox Holiday, and puppy Orson Welles.

Carlo’s road to Gem:

Cal State University Northridge –> Freelance –> Fahrenheit 212 –> Hewson –> Gem

Megan Henkle

Executive Assistant

Megan Henkle

Executive Assistant

Megan was born and raised in Fresno, CA before moving to Southern California to attend Long Beach State University to become a teacher, but quickly discovered her passion lay in journalism, media ecology and sociology.  After graduating with a degree in Communication Studies, Megan made her way up north to San Francisco to dive into the tech scene, gaining a wealth of knowledge working for Fitbit. Now, after living all over California, she has eventually found her way back to her favorite, sunshine city: Los Angeles. Megan got an early lesson in resilience, one of her key character traits, when she broke both arms simultaneously at the age of 10 while attempting to shoot hoops. She still attended summer camp as planned, arms in casts. Megan joined the Gem team as Executive Assistant to the CEO & CCO, eager to explore the blockchain world and be amongst a fast-paced, collaborative culture. When she’s not juggling calendars and organizing events, Megan can be found on the basketball court, attending concerts and sporting events, or exploring rooftop restaurants around LA.

Megan’s Road to Gem:

California State University Long Beach —> Realty ONE Group —> AdRoll —> Fitbit —> Gem

Mark Hudson

Sr. QA Engineer

Mark Hudson

Sr. QA Engineer

Mark was born in San Diego, and has lived various places in California from bottom to top. After moving to Los Angeles for a Computer Information Systems degree from Biola, he briefly joined a startup, and circumnavigated the globe. Since then working at large tech companies, he discovered a passion for testing quality in both software as well as entire system processes. The fruits of projects he’s worked on have benefited millions of people world-wide: everything from anti-virus software to email services, ticket sales and internet advertising.  Always questing to improve and learn, he joined Gem to help decentralize new technologies. He lives with his wife, two kids, and two birds in a century-old house near downtown LA.

Mark’s Road to Gem:

Biola University Beckman –> Scantron –> Isocor –> Symantec –> Ticketmaster –> Rubicon Project –> Gem

Michael Ho

Software Engineer

Michael Ho

Software Engineer

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Michael moved to the United States for its higher caliber education and critical thinking. As a kid, he came up with a thought experiment to test space-time dilation using two satellites in deep space firing lasers against a receiving sensor.  Michael graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Computer Science and Business Administration. Michael’s career revolves around unlocking value of data. While at USC, he was involved in using user-generated heuristics to efficiently price premiums on P2P lending. Upon graduating USC, Michael was building YP’s data pipeline to power their big data initiative. He enjoys discussing physics, mathematics, economics, and philosophy. Presented with a vast array of greenfield blockchain opportunities, Michael joined Gem to make enterprise data more shareable.

Michael’s Road to Gem

University of Southern California –> YP –> Gem

Stephanie Lin

Marketing Director

Stephanie Lin

Marketing Director

Stephanie was born and raised in Orange County, California and moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA to become a doctor or researcher, but quickly learned that she preferred business, psychology, and culture. After graduating with a degree in English, Stephanie took a variety of odd jobs–rocking the coffee bar as a barista, archiving massive topographic maps of California for a civil engineering firm, and teaching ESL students how to order off the In-N-Out menu. But she was most excited about her marketing  jobs where she could leverage data and technology to prove campaign ROI and generate predictable revenue models. Stephanie joined Gem to be a part of an exciting, fast-paced company that will have a critical impact on how the world interacts with data. Stephanie loves spending time in the mountains with her husband, Jonathan, or curling up with a good book.

Stephanie’s Road to Gem:

University of California, Los Angeles -> Vizio -> Health Strategies Group -> Kareo -> Gem

Madeline Mann

People Operations Manager

Madeline Mann

People Operations Manager

Madeline grew up in Santa Monica and earned her Bachelor’s at UC San Diego, where she was the Managing Editor of the campus newspaper. She noticed all of the editors facing the same hurdles onboarding and retaining their writers, so she revamped the internal processes and created a much needed writer training. This ignited her passion for Human Resources, and Madeline went on to earn her Master of Science in Organizational Development from the University of Southern California. Before leading People Operations at Gem, Madeline worked at Scopely on their Human Resources team. Despite her Los Angeles upbringing, Madeline is an avid country music fan, and you can often find her playing guitar and writing music of her own.  One of her more popular tunes, “Geeks: Hot Guys with Four Eyes,” has been featured on two dozen geek and gamer sites and landed her a performance spot at the LA Mensa Convention. Madeline joined Gem because of the company’s “People First” focus.

Madeline’s Road to Gem:

UC San Diego –> University of Southern California –> Scopely –> Gem

Bez Reyhan

Software Engineer

Bez Reyhan

Software Engineer

Bez moved from Iran to the United States at the age of two. He pursued a degree in business administration from UC Berkeley while working for a startup that grew gourmet oyster mushrooms on used coffee grounds. Drawn to human-centered design, Bez joined the product design group on campus, building all kinds of things, from barefoot running shoes to donation incentives. After college, Bez spent two years in Israel studying philosophy, law, and ethics. He returned to the U.S. and learned how to code so he could marry his passion for building products with his interest in computer science. He found Gem through mutual friends and instantly knew it was a company he wanted to be a part of.

Bez’s Road to Gem:

UC Berkeley –> Gem

Matt Smith

Senior Software Engineer

Matt Smith

Senior Software Engineer

Matt was born and raised in St. Regis Falls, a little known village in the frozen tundra of Northern New York, where he was weaned on Lord of the Rings, Dungeons & Dragons, and a 28 kbps modem. Matt graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in Computer Science and Acting. During a brief stint as a gunfighter at the now-defunct Buckskin Joe’s Frontier Town & Railway, Matt learned many useful tips such as how to manage a horse-drawn trolley and that some people in Colorado bury ammunition in their yards. He then moved on to work primarily as an independent software contractor while traveling abroad. After several years of projects that varied between interesting (interactive micro-location-awareness systems; high speed data transfer & transformation) and dull (CRUD web apps), Matt was looking for something consistently exciting and revolutionary to throw all his energy and verve into. Enter Gem.

Matt’s Road to Gem:

Clarkson University –> Syracuse University –> Freelance life in: Los Angeles –> NYC –> London –> Gem

Pankaj Tripathi

Software Engineer

Pankaj Tripathi

Software Engineer

Pankaj was born and raised in Mumbai, India, a country where cricket is religion and Bollywood is a lifestyle. He wanted to be a cricketer some days, a doctor on other days, and an engineer only rarely. Pankaj earned a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from the University of Mumbai and worked for two years. He moved to the United States to join Boston’s Northeastern University for a graduate degree in Computer Science, which he earned while listening to hard rock and heavy metal. Searching for an opportunity to work on exciting projects with a great team of engineers and redemption from Boston’s frigid weather, Pankaj checked all those boxes with Gem.

Pankaj’s Road to Gem:

University of Mumbai –> Accenture –> Northeastern University –> Gem  

Julian Vergel de Dios

Software Development Manager

Julian Vergel de Dios

Software Development Manager

Although Julian was born in Calgary, Alberta, the land of moose and maple syrup, his heart is in Los Angeles. His father refused to allow video games in his house, opting instead to give Julian a computer and saying “make your own fun.” He wrote his first code in C++ when he was 12. Julian attended the University of Southern California’s Computer Science program. His  memorable jobs include working in the kitchen at the family restaurant, selling cars at Toyota, and serving at Chilli’s. A triathlete, Julian loves the outdoors and has tried amateur boxing. He joined Gem to show that there are better ways of doing things and that a status quo that serves the few cannot remain the status quo.

Road to Gem:

USC –> Freelancing –> Pose –> Gem

Xiaoyu Yin

Software Engineer

Xiaoyu Yin

Software Engineer

Xiaoyu, known as X, was born in Shanghai, China, and moved to the United States when he was three. He became interested in technology in fourth grade through a popular MMORPG — Runescape. His skills grew from a simple middle school chat application and email client in TrueBASIC to high school contractor work building Android applications and simple web development. X later dropped out of the University of Maryland and moved to Los Angeles to pursue software engineering full time. His hobbies include: hip hop dancing and choreography, piano, tennis, and wushu martial arts.  X came to Gem to learn about distributed systems and the new systems programming language, Rust.

Xiaoyu’s Path to Gem:

Science / Math / Computer Science MAGNET program in middle and high school –> University of Maryland –> Skurt –> Gem

About Gem

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Get in touch

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Venice, CA 90291

Support

Contact Us: hello@gem.co
Support: support@gem.co

Inquiries

Partnerships: partnerships@gem.co
Media Inquiries: media@gem.co