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Former JPMorgan, Barclays execs on why crypto jobs attractive even in bear market

Former traditional finance veterans are debuting a crypto career at the crypto ETF issuer 21Shares despite the bear market.

Despite the ongoing cryptocurrency market decline and associated forced layoffs in major crypto firms, a career in crypto doesn’t turn less attractive to many traditional finance executives.

European crypto exchange-traded fund (ETF) provider 21Shares announced three major hires on Wednesday to expand its presence in countries like France, Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

Marina Baudéan, 21Shares’ newly appointed head of France, Belgium and Luxembourg, is debuting her crypto career after working for more than 15 years at the British universal bank Barclays.

Baudéan is confident that crypto is “all about the next generation of technology,” and it’s here to stay despite market fluctuations or other issues. Having witnessed many technological changes throughout her career, she drew parallels between crypto and the early days of digital trading, stating:

“I began my career in Electronic Fixed Income Trading back in 2000, when traders told me they would never trade electronically. Over twenty years later, this market is now very much electronic.”

“Making the move from traditional finance to crypto was a natural progression to me,” Baudéan said in an interview with Cointelegraph, adding that the growth and momentum around crypto made her eager to move into crypto.

Oliver Schäfer, 21Shares’ new head of Germany, also joined the crypto ETF firm with a solid traditional finance background, bringing decades of experience across major financial firms. Prior to starting a crypto career, Schäfer spent more than 15 years at the American investment bank JPMorgan.

“I believe in the long-term opportunity of crypto — the asset class is growing and is only in its early days, so I am focused on the long-term opportunity versus the short-term market conditions,” Schäfer said, adding that it is an “exciting time to be in crypto,” Schäfer noted that he first invested in crypto in 2020, eventually growing more interested in the technology and industry developments.

Despite JPMorgan actively taking part in the crypto industry, CEO Jamie Dimon is known for some notable criticism of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC). To this, Schäfer — former JPMorgan’s executive director — noted that many institutions have adopted crypto assets after initially being skeptical about them, stating:

“It’s important to remember that across the course of history, many people have been initially skeptical about technological developments before they were adopted in the mainstream — like with computers and cell phones. This is the natural course of technological advancements.”

Sherif El-Haddad, former head of asset management at Dubai-based Al Mal Asset Management, has joined 21Shares as head of the Middle East.

Related: OpenSea lays off 20% of its staff, citing ‘crypto winter’

“I believe in the underlying fundamentals of cryptocurrencies and the growth it is expected to witness over the next decade, and I positioned myself accordingly,” El-Haddad said. He also mentioned that he attempted to launch a physically-backed crypto ETF at Al Mal, but his proposal was not approved. He added:

“Cryptocurrencies have been well received globally by retail investors and the expectation is that institutional and ultra-high net worth are now moving in buying after the recent price correction.”

The new hirings by 21Shares are another evidence that the crypto job market has been holding strong despite the bear market and a massive wave of layoffs.

Major crypto companies, including big names like Coinbase and Gemini, decided to lay off up to 20% of its workforce so far, citing tough market conditions and the beginning of an economic recession. In contrast, many crypto firms FTX or the Binance crypto exchange continued to hire more talent during the ongoing crypto winter.

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Banking Giants Barclays and Goldman Sachs Back $500,000,000 Crypto Tech Firm

Banking Giants Barclays and Goldman Sachs Back 0,000,000 Crypto Tech Firm

Financial behemoths Barclays and Goldman Sachs are investing in Elwood Technologies, a crypto infrastructure and market data platform founded by billionaire Alan Howard. In a new press release, the crypto trading platform says that it raised $70 million in the Series A funding round that was co-led by Goldman Sachs and early-stage venture fund Dawn […]

The post Banking Giants Barclays and Goldman Sachs Back $500,000,000 Crypto Tech Firm appeared first on The Daily Hodl.

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Goldman Sachs and Barclays invest in UK crypto trading platform Elwood

The global head of digital assets for Goldman Sachs said the demand for cryptocurrency from institutions is rising and the firm has been “actively broadening” its market capabilities to cater to that demand.

Banking giants Goldman Sachs and Britain’s Barclays have joined a $70 million Series A funding round for the institutional crypto trading platform Elwood Technologies, founded by billionaire British hedge fund manager Alan Howard.

Joining the round was crypto-friendly German bank Commerzbank, crypto investment manager Galaxy Digital, and Dawn Capital as reported by the Financial Times on May 15. The fundraising round valued the company at around $500 million according to the report.

Despite the recent fall in crypto markets, Elwood said it's betting that traditional financial institutions such as hedge funds and banks will still be interested in investing in cryptocurrencies. Elwood's funding round was already agreed to and in motion before the latest drop in prices which has seen roughly 15% wiped off the total crypto market cap since May 9 according to CoinMarketCap.

Elwood Technologies CEO James Stickland said the fundraising was “another validation of the longevity of crypto” brushing off the falling prices from the last few weeks:

“We’re getting investment from financial institutions that aren’t expecting to get massive returns in 15 minutes. They’re investing in the infrastructure, I think it’s a reassurance message.”

Elwood Technologies provides a crypto portfolio management system with crypto market information and trading infrastructure for institutional investors that features an interface that connects to crypto exchanges, liquidity providers, and custodians.

Commenting on the deal Goldman Sachs’ global head of digital assets Mathew McDermott said the investment showed the firm has “continued commitment” to cryptocurrencies, adding:

“As institutional demand for cryptocurrency rises, we have been actively broadening our market presence and capabilities to cater for client demand.”

The funding from Goldman Sachs marks the bank's further expansion into crypto assets. The investment bank was the first to offer a loan backed by Bitcoin (BTC) to crypto exchange Coinbase in early May. It has long seen an interest in the space, even referring to digital assets and the Metaverse as “megatrends” in March.

Related: Decentralized and centralized finance need to collaborate

Another case of the Wall Street giant cozying to crypto firms saw a meeting between Goldman CEO David Solomon and FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried which included an offer from Solomon to help FTX with future funding rounds and regulatory compliance.

As for Elwood Technologies, it will remain majority-owned by Alan Howard who was the main investor before the Series A round. Howard co-founded the hedge fund Brevan Howard which launched its crypto investment division “BH Digital” in September 2021.

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HSBC Becomes Latest Bank to Suspend Payments to Crypto Exchange Binance in UK

HSBC Becomes Latest Bank to Suspend Payments to Crypto Exchange Binance in UKHSBC has reportedly become the latest British bank to announce that it has suspended payments to cryptocurrency exchange Binance. Citing a consumer warning by the country’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the bank told its customers: “We’ve made this decision due to concerns about the possible risks to you.” ‘We’re Suspending Payments to […]

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After Barclays and Santander, UK Bank Natwest Blocks Payments to Binance

After Barclays and Santander, UK Bank Natwest Blocks Payments to BinanceA major high street bank in the U.K., Natwest, has blocked payments to crypto exchange Binance. Natwest’s decision came after two other major British banks — Barclays and Santander — made a similar move to block fund transfers to Binance. The banks acted in response to a warning on the cryptocurrency exchange by the U.K.’s […]

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Payments Provider Clear Junction Stops Processing Payments for Binance

Payments Provider Clear Junction Stops Processing Payments for BinanceOn Monday, the global payments solutions provider Clear Junction announced it ceased processing transactions for Binance. The move by Clear Junction was brought on by the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) recent warning, according to a blog post written about the decision. Clear Junction Ceases Processing Payments for Binance Citing the Recent FCA Warning The Financial […]

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Santander’s UK arm follows Barclays in banning payments to Binance

The bank said would be “following the FCA’s warning to consumers” in blocking payments made to the crypto exchange.

Spain-based bank Santander’s U.K. business will no longer be allowing its customers to send payments to Binance, citing warnings from the Financial Conduct Authority.

Several replies from Santander’s U.K. Twitter help account today said the bank has “decided to prevent payments” to the world’s biggest crypto exchange in an effort to prevent fraud. The bank reportedly told customers they would still be able to withdraw cash from Binance, but it would be “following the FCA’s warning to consumers” in banning payments.

Source: Twitter

Many Santander account holders expressed negative feelings about the bank’s decision:

“As one of your long standing account holders, DO NOT tell me how I can spend MY money,” said Twitter user Brian Moore. “If I choose to use Binance then that is MY choice.”

A London-based user added:

“You are putting innocent, well informed customers at risk of losing significant investment due to your binance block. How is that fair or responsible? People can become victim to fraud or losses in many things; betting, bank scams, phone scams. This is absurd.”

Last month, the Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA, warned consumers that Binance Markets Limited would no longer be allowed to engage in any “regulated activity” in the United Kingdom. While the financial watchdog doesn’t regulate cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH), certain crypto derivatives and that which it considers a security falls under its mandate. The FCA told investors to be “be wary of adverts online and on social media promising high returns on investments in cryptoasset or cryptoasset-related products.”

Binance later responded to the notice, saying that the FCA mandate did not prevent the exchange — Binance.com — from conducting business in the United Kingdom, as Binance Markets Limited was a separate entity. However, some high-profile financial institutions in the U.K. have already imposed restrictions for customers dealing with Binance.

Related: Binance disappointed by Barclays’ ‘unilateral action’ to block customer payments

This week, British multinational bank Barclays told its customers it would be stopping any credit or debit card payments made to the crypto exchange until further notice, also citing the FCA notice. U.K.-based Starling Bank has seemingly echoed Santander’s position, saying that its customers can deposit crypto in their accounts, but its “international currency provider does not support the purchase of cryptocurrencies." However, Monzo, another British bank, said today its customers are “welcome to invest in crypto” in response to a question on restrictions concerning the exchange.

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Barclays Blocks Customers From Sending Funds to Binance

Barclays Blocks Customers From Sending Funds to BinanceBarclays has reported it no longer supports wiring funds to Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of daily volume. The bank announced its issues with wiring funds to Binance in a resolution message to the customers today. The banking giant cites the warning that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued against Binance […]

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Binance disappointed by Barclays’ ‘unilateral action’ to block customer payments

A Binance spokesperson reiterated to Cointelegraph that the Financial Conduct Authority's recent edict only applied to Binance Markets Limited, or BML, which is a separate legal entity from the main global exchange that operates through Binance.com.

Barclays’ decision to stop facilitating British customers’ payments to Binance has been met with criticism by the cryptocurrency exchange after a spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the bank acted with “an inaccurate understanding of events.” 

"We are disappointed that Barclays appears to have taken unilateral action based on what appears to be an inaccurate understanding of events,” the spokesperson said, referring to a recent edict by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA, barring Binance Markets Limited from operating in the country.

“The FCA notice relates to [Binance Markets Limited], which is a company incorporated in the UK and regulated by FCA,” the spokesperson said, adding that BML is a separate legal entity that doesn’t offer any products or services through the main Binance website.

The FCA notice had no bearing on user deposits on the main Binance website, the spokesperson said, adding that, “We have always taken the security of our users’ money very seriously.”

Binance said it welcomes open dialogue with Barclays to discuss the matter further:

"We take our compliance obligations very seriously, and we are committed to working collaboratively with regulators to shape policies that protect consumers, encourage innovation, and move our industry forward."

Related: Binance faces regulatory upheaval as lawmakers target ‘global’ exchanges

Binance has been caught in the regulatory crossfire as of late, with several jurisdictions around the world taking stricter measures to limit the exchange’s operations. Over the past two weeks, financial regulators in Japan and the United Kingdom have warned users about Binance’s regulatory status in their respective countries. Meanwhile, Binance announced it would no longer operate in the Canadian province of Ontario after regulators there implemented stricter regulations targeting cryptocurrency exchanges.

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