Top Executive Left The Anti-Crypto Bank of England to Join the Crypto Custodian Fireblocks
Varun Paul, the Bank of England’s Head of the Fintech Hub, has left the institution after more than 13 years there. He will join the crypto security firm Fireblocks. Paul announced his departure from the Bank of England in a recent LinkedIn post, following more than a decade of service. He described his resignation as an “emotional day,” admitting that he had loved his time at the banking institution:
“I have loved my time here – because of the great people and the varied and incredibly rewarding work. And because I’ve been given the space to drive forward the agenda on the things I’m passionate about.”
The Anti-Crypto Bank of England
Paul’s decision to leave the UK’s central bank and join a crypto startup is interesting because the monetary institution is one of the industry’s most prominent opponents. In May of last year, Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, warned investors to take caution while investing in the sector. Cryptocurrencies, in his opinion, “have no intrinsic worth,” and anyone who invests in them risks losing all of their money:
“I’m going to say this very bluntly again. Buy then only If you’re prepared to lose all your money.”
The Governor expressed “concerns” about El Salvador’s intention to accept bitcoin as legal tender at one point. He believes that most residents are unaware of “the nature and volatility of the currency they hold.” Nayib Bukele, the President of the Latin American country, humorously responded to Bailey’s remarks:
“Bank of England is “worried about El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin? Really?
I guess Bank of England’s interest in the well-being of our people is genuine. Right?
I mean, they have always cared about our people. Always.
Gotta love Bank of England.”
Fireblocks Recent Activities
Fireblocks raised $550 million in Series E funding earlier this year, backed by Spark Capital, Mammoth, General Atlantic, and other investors. The funding increased the organization’s value to $8 billion. Michael Shaulov, CEO of the firm, announced that the funds will be invested in DeFi, NFTs, and payments innovations:
“Everything that’s happening at the cross-section of DeFi, NFTs, gaming, streaming, and entertainment will be the biggest emerging use cases in the next year and a half.”
Shortly after, the firm paid around $100 million for First Digital, an Israeli crypto payments network. The latter is a company that offers institutional clients stablecoin-based API-based settlement solutions.
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