Behind the Currency of the Internet

Core Team

Shahaf Bar-Geffen


Shahaf is the Co-Founder and Former CEO of WEB3, a leading provider of digital media advertising solutions. Since founding the company in 2006, Shahaf has led WEB3 to become a leading multinational digital marketing firm. Shahaf holds a B.Sc degree in Biotech and Economics from Tel Aviv University (magna cum laude) and is an Israeli Air Force officer (Major, reserves).

Erol Hallufgil

Research & Software Engineering

Erol is a mathematician and engineer who has for the past few several years worked in software development. His recent experience involves developing custom CRM solutions for fintech companies. He holds a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.

Tal Dadia

Research Engineering

Tal is a blockchain research engineer who has gained backend engineering experience at several startup companies. In parallel with his work for COTI, Tal explores current applications of using blockchain and other consensus methodologies in academic research at the IDC, and formerly at the WZB institute in Berlin. He is studying for LL.B and Masters in Financial Economics degrees at IDC Herzliya.

Yoni Neeman

Software Engineering

Yoni is a full-stack software engineer, with extensive experience in fintech and mobile applications. He previously worked as an integration team leader in the risk management project of UMTB Bank, and as a mobile gaming SDK engineer. Before joining COTI, he developed DSS software for algorithmic trading purposes. He holds a degree in Computer Science from Tel-Aviv University.

Stav Perle


Stav is a cryptographer with extensive experience working in the R&D labs of IBM, Intel, Yahoo! and Gigya. She holds a B.Sc in Mathematics and Computer Science from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, where she was awarded the Dean’s Excellency honor award in Mathematics. Stav served in the 8200 unit of the IDF Intelligence Corps and is currently pursuing an M.Sc in Computer Science at Technion.

Anton Suslonov

Data Science

Anton brings to COTI wide-ranging expertise in blockchain technology, applied mathematics and data science. Recently, he has contributed to the Wings Foundation as an Economic Analyst dealing with various blockchain projects. Previously, he has worked in IT and risk management roles at finance company in Russia. He holds a degree in Applied Mathematics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

Eyal Wagner

Legal and Compliance

Eyal is a legal expert with vast experience in fintech. Most recently he served as the CEO of Safecap Investments and as the Group General Counsel for A qualified lawyer who earned his LLB from IDC Herzliya, Eyal is currently partaking in the TRIUM Global Executive MBA program (NYU Stern, LSE and HEC Paris).

Yair Lavi


Yair is a finance and operations professional. For the past two years he has been advising fintech startups on various matters relating to management, marketing and regulation. In his prior formal role, he served as the CEO of Plus500UK, the FCA-regulated subsidiary of Plus500. Earlier in his career he held roles with PwC (corporate finance) and Arison Group. He is a certified accountant, and holds BA and MBA degrees from Tel-Aviv University.

David Assaraf

Business Development

David served as the Chief Internal Auditor of HSBC Israel. Earlier in his career he was an Examiner in the Credit Risk Unit of the Bank of Israel’s Banking Supervision Department. He started his career at KPMG and is a chartered accountant. He holds an M.A. in Law Administration from Bar Ilan University.

Gilad Hirsch


Gilad has over a decade of experience at institutions including Ernst & Young, KPMG and the Bank of Israel. He brings to COTI expertise in finance, risk management, financial service regulation and online payments. Gilad is a chartered accountant (with honors) and holds an M.A in Business Economics from Bar Ilan University.

Neta Salomon


Neta has been responsible for HR and administration at finance and tech companies for over 7 years. Neta holds a BA in Behavioural Sciences and an MBA in Labour Studies.

Samuel Falkon


Samuel is responsible for building and nurturing COTI’s community. A seasoned sales and marketing professional, he brings to COTI wide-ranging experience in the fintech and consumer technology domains. Samuel runs his own marketing advisory business, Gil Scott.

Andy Chin

Software Engineering

Andy is a full-stack software engineer. An autodidact originally from Singapore, Andy has launched numerous titles on Steam and the AppStore. He has wide-ranging experience developing games, server applications and mobile apps.

Tamar Drachli


Tamar has over 12 years of media and production experience.
Winner of worldwide Viral videos competitions, Tamar worked as a writer-director in the private television sector and commercial industry. She brings a tremendous amount of experience to the social field.
Tamar is in charge of analyzing and optimize all social media activities and ensure goals met.

Jared Ungar

Business Development

Jared has worked at South Africa’s fastest growing payment processing startups. He is an entrepreneur who has vast experience in payments, business development and sales. Jared plays a key role in developing and nurturing COTI’s community. He is an ambitious, determined and goal-oriented individual who brings enthusiasm, charisma and charm to the initiative.

Carlos M. Martins

Gibraltar Business Director

Carlos is a Private Banker who has worked for institutions such as Credit Suisse and Société Générale. He is in the board of Experienced Investor Funds, the Chairman of the Gibraltar Association of Compliance Officers, and he teaches Finance at the University of Gibraltar for an LSE degree course. Carlos holds a BSc degree from the University of Applied Sciences, Berne, and he is a Swiss Financial Planning Expert.

Backers and Advisors

Dr. Matt McBrady

Former CIO & MD

Matthew was the Chief Investment Officer for the Multi-Strategy Hedge Fund Platform at BlackRock. He has held senior roles at Silver Creek Capital and at Bain Capital, was a professor of finance at the Darden School and Wharton, and worked with Janet Yellen in President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors. Matthew holds a Ph.D in Business Economics from Harvard University.

Steven Heilbron

Former CEO

Steven is the Joint CEO of Cash Connect, an automated cash handling business that he acquired as part of a consortium in 2013. Steven has an extensive background in finance, having previously served as the Global Head of Private Banking and Joint CEO of Investec Bank in London. Steven is a Chartered Accountant (SA) and holds degrees in commerce and accounting from the University of Cape Town.

Avi Chesed


Avi is the Co-Founder & CEO of, and the Chair of the Board of Directors of Transact Europe Holdings OOD. A payments industry veteran, before co-founding, Avi founded several successful payments-related companies and has become a leading figure in the space. Avi holds a Business Administration Degree from the University of Southern California.

Jon Avganim


Jon is the Co-Founder and President of, and an Executive Director of Transact Europe Holdings OOD. Prior to co-founding, Jon founded and led several successful ventures in the international distribution and finance domains.

Sebastian Stupurac

Blockchain Funding Expert

Co-Founder of WINGS, a successful community engagement and smart contract facilitation platform, one of the few working DAPPS on the Ethereum blockchain. Sebastian gained vast experience in decentralized solutions and blockchain technology since 2013.

Stas Oskin

Blockchain Expert

Leads the technology strategy and partnerships effort for WINGS Foundation, a Swiss non-profit focused on decentralized finance and governance systems. Stas has over 15 years of extensive experience in engineering, development and management of software, cloud services, healthcare, video streaming, blockchain and social.

Theofanis Alexoudas

Risk Management Advisor

Risk management expert with extensive experience in the areas of market risk, risk governance and regulatory risk management requirements. He started his career at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in London and most recently has served as the Chief Risk Officer of Safecap Investments. Theofanis holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of London.

Dr. Zvi Gabbay

Barnea & Co

An expert in financial regulation and securities law, Zvi is a Partner and the Head of Capital Markets at Barnea & Co. Zvi previously served as the Head of Enforcement of the Israel Securities Authority and as a lawyer in the New York office of Skadden. Zvi holds JSD and LLM degrees from Columbia University, an LLM degree from Bar-Ilan University, and an LL.B degree from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Prof. Martin Fochmann

University of Cologne

Martin is Professor for Behavioral Accounting, Taxation and Finance at the University of Cologne and CEO of the German Association for Experimental Economic Research. Martin taught business and finance courses at several universities - including University of Cologne, University of Hannover and EBS University. He holds a doctoral degree from the University of Würzburg and won several prizes for his research.

Sean Melnick

Peregrine Group

Sean is the founder and Non-Executive Chairman of Peregrine Group, an international financial services group listed on the JSE. Prior to co-founding Peregrine in 1996 and serving as the group CEO for a cumulative 11 years, Sean worked at Investec Bank and at Liberty Asset Management (Stanlib). Sean holds an Honors degree in Commerce from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Dr. Stephan Wessel

Arcana Capital

Stephan is the founding partner of Arcana Capital, an independent multi-family office advising its clients with respect to private equity strategies. Stephan’s previous roles include leading the private equity efforts at two substantial European single family offices. Stephan began his career at UBS Investment Bank working in their M&A division. He holds a B.Sc., a LL.M. and Ph.D. in business (summa cum laude).

Dr. Stefan Hlawatsh

Skybridge Investment

Stefan is the CEO of Skybridge Investment and an Associate Professor at ISM International School of Management, Hamburg. Stefan previously worked in Specialist Asset Allocation for Berenberg Bank and Consilisto Berenberg Privat-Treuhand, and as a Client Advisor at UBS. He received his doctoral degree (magna cum laude) and a business administration degree (honors) from Otto-von-Guericke University.


COTI is the Currency of the Internet – the fastest, easiest, most cost-effective and reliable way to pay