Bank of England’s top Executive Leaves the Institution to Join the Crypto Custodian Fireblocks

Varun Paul – Head of the Fintech Hub at the Bank of England – parted ways with the institution after spending more than 13 years there. He will take a role at the cryptocurrency security company Fireblocks.

Onto the Next Chapter

In a recent post on LinkedIn, Paul announced he will leave the Bank of England after working there for more than a decade. He described his departure as an “emotional day,” revealing he had enjoyed the years spent at the financial 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.”

Paul served as the Head of the Fintech Hub at the Bank of England.

Bank of England: a Harsh Crypto Critic

Paul’s decision to leave the UK’s central bank and join a crypto company is interesting because the monetary institution is among the keenest opponents of the digital asset industry.

In May last year, Andrew Bailey – the Bank of England’s Governor – warned investors to be utterly careful when delving into the sector. In his view, cryptocurrencies “have no intrinsic value,” and individuals who invest in them could lose all their money:

“I’m going to say this very bluntly again. Buy then only If you’re prepared to lose all your money.”

At one point, the Governor expressed his “concerns” about El Salvador’s decision to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. He opined that most locals do not understand “the nature and volatility of the currency they have.”

The President of the Latin American country – Nayib Bukele – ironically answered Bailey’s comments:

“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 Endeavors

Earlier this year, Fireblocks secured a $550 million Series E fundraiser led by Spark Capital, Mammoth, General Atlantic, and other investors. The financing boosted the organization’s valuation to $8 billion.

Michael Shaulov – CEO at Fireblocks – revealed that the company will distribute the capital in innovations for the DeFi sector, NFTs, and payments:

“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, Fireblocks acquired the Israeli crypto payments platform – First Digital – for approximately $100 million. The latter is a company that provides stablecoin, API-based settlement solutions to institutional clients.

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