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Former Barclays Trader Moves to Japanese Crypto Exchange, No Future in Traditional Finance

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:07 PM
Joseph Young
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:07 PM

Daisuke Murayama, a former Barclays trader, told Bloomberg that he took a pay cut to move from the European banking giant to Japanese cryptocurrency exchange BitFlyer.

“I just didn’t see a future in traditional finance,” said Murayama, emphasizing that most of the services and products provided by traditional financial institutions are outdated and likely to be rendered unnecessary in the short-term. “I just didn’t see a future in traditional finance,” he added.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges on Hiring Spree

Over the past year, some of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase, have continued a hiring spree of executives, traders, and talents from the traditional finance sector, with aggressive plans to expand globally and to target institutional investors through its custodian service.

BitFlyer, Japan’s leading cryptocurrency exchange and the global market’s fourth largest trading platform, has recently started to follow the roadmap of Coinbase by bringing in bankers from the traditional finance sector to the cryptocurrency industry.

Yuzo Kano, the founder and CEO at BitFlyer, said the exchange has been recruiting experienced traders and bankers in their 40s that have significant experience dealing with regulated markets and young talents in their 20s who have become dedicated to work within the rapidly moving cryptocurrency sector.

“My target is to be number one in the world. To get there, I need to grow headcount. And those with the best skills come from global banks,” said Kano.

bitcoin wall street
Cryptocurrency exchanges have begun poaching executives en masse from mainstream financial institutions as the industry matures.

Kano stated that the demand for executives, financiers, and bankers from the traditional finance sector from cryptocurrency startups and exchanges has increased significantly over the past few months, mostly due to the increasing crackdown on cryptocurrency trading by financial authorities.

While many regions like South Korea, the US, Singapore, Switzerland, and Japan have imposed practical cryptocurrency regulations, Kano explained that the experience of bankers in communicating with regulators and building infrastructures within a strictly regulated market is highly beneficial for cryptocurrency startups.

As former Barclays banker Daisuke Murayama explained, most financiers in the banking sector have also started to consider careers in alternative industries, primarily due to concerns regarding the long-term survivability of banks and traditional financial products.

Within the past month, some of the most influential financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs and NYSE have announced their move into the cryptocurrency market. The entrance of big players in the finance sector has signified to the public that it has become difficult for banks to disregard the growing demand for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Analysts such as Razin Ashraf, the head of a Japanese recruitment firm, told Bloomberg that cryptocurrency startups are in need of finance experts to fill the gaps in sales, compliance, and a variety of other sectors which newcomers struggle to deal with.

“Crypto companies need finance guys to fill roles across the board: business development, sales, account management, operations, and compliance just to name a few,” said Ashraf.

What’s Next

In early 2018, Coincheck, formerly the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in Japan that experienced a $500 million hacking attack, said that the breach was inevitable due to the company’s lack of talents which could not fill the gaps in security.

As cryptocurrency exchanges continue to hire talents from the traditional finance sector and major financial institutions adopt cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, investors expect cryptocurrencies to evolve into a proper emerging asset class.

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