Instead, former traditional bankers who have turned to crypto remain optimistic about the future of the industry and love the fact that they can deliver real innovation.
Lisa Wade, CEO of DigitalX, is one such leader, having pivoted to crypto in December 2021. She was formerly head of innovation and sustainability at National Australia Bank (NAB), one of four major Australian banks.
— The finance magnates (@financemagnates) December 23, 2021
Wade told Cointelegraph that the crypto industry gives him more freedom to take innovative risks compared to the banking industry.
“It’s becoming very clear that Web3 financial rails are the future – it’s hard to innovate internally, so those of us with the guts on fire are jumping ship.”
Wade is confident that crypto will see mainstream adoption in the coming years, stating that “like ESG, it will be mainstream in 10 years or sooner.”
She added that she moved into the crypto industry to “build something big […] in a way that a bank could not.
Similarly, Guy Dickinson, CEO of carbon trading platform BetaCarbon, stepped away from a lucrative executive banking role in 2022 as former treasurer of HSBC Australia.
“I switched to the Web3 space because the carbon credits and environmental markets space was not easily accessible and Web3 provided market access,” he said.
I left my engineering job at a TradFi company in 2017 to work professionally in the crypto space. My co-worker turned to me when I quit and said, “Remember that quitters never win and winners never quit.” No hard feelings, but I often think about your stupid statement, Steve.
— Malcolm (@mxlcolm) February 3, 2022
For Dickinson, the motivation behind the move was not driven by money, but rather a quest for personal fulfillment.
“It’s not more lucrative; it is, however, much more satisfying,” he said, adding that jobs in traditional finance aren’t as secure as they used to be:
“The banking sector is slowly dying. Constant layoffs and technological efficiency put many professional services roles at risk. A senior banking executive always has a target on his back in today’s landscape. »
Simon Dixon, CEO of investment platform BnkToTheFuture, told Cointelegraph that he actually tried to set up a traditional bank in 2011 before setting up a “regulated crypto securities firm.”
Dixon said that when he did his research on building a traditional bank, he discovered that it was actually a huge risk:
“When we applied for a license, regulators told us we had to store our funds in another fractional reserve bank and that’s only profitable if we leverage customer funds like all banks.”
Later that year, Dixon discovered Bitcoin (BTC) and became interested in the fact that “funds are owned, peer-spent, and backed by comprehensive reserve math and code.”
Related: Investors want crypto, but not without TradFi backing: Nomura survey
Many TradFi executives have been preparing to slowly move into crypto for some time.
According to a Fortune report published in July 2022, two JPMorgan executives, Eric Wragge and Puja Samuel, resigned to pursue careers in the crypto industry.
Wragge, previously Managing Director of JPMorgan, has made the decision to join Algorand (ALGO) as Head of Business Development and Capital Markets.
Samuel, who served as Head of Ideation and Digitization at JPMorgan, has taken on the role of Head of Business Development at Digital Currency Group.
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