Bitflyer Picks Wall Street Talents to Build Crypto Empire
The former Goldman Sachs trader, Yuzo Kano, has been on a hiring spree bringing in experts from Wall Street and other high financial industries to create depth of experience in his own ranks as he looks to expand bitFlyer into the emerging institutional crypto market.
BitFlyer’s user base has tripled to 2 million since 2017 and thanks in part to Bitcoin margin contracts which have proven popular among Japanese day traders. The exchange has averaged about 2 billion a day through April into early May.
Bitflyer already has offices in Tokyo, San Francisco, and Luxembourg and is considering expansion that would include locations in Africa, Australia and other countries in Asia. Kano’s expansion plans reach further than new offices and beyond crypto trading to banking services like digital payment and advisory services for investors and startups interested in launching ICOs.
Speaking to Bloomberg about his hiring spree among the world’s largest banks Kano said:
“I need to grow headcount. And those with the best skills come from global banks. My target is to be number one in the world.”
According to Bloomberg, Kano’s team, which includes a former fixed-income desk head at Barclays Plc and an ex-senior private banker at Credit Suisse Group AG, has doubled to more than 150 people in the past six months and is on pace to top 300 before year-end.
BitFlyer’s high end editions are only a small part of its expanding team though as the company seeks coders who regardless of educational background as long as they have proven skills can make $100,000 a year. Kano is splitting his team into two groups; bankers in their forties looking for a change from the bureaucracy of finance and associates in their twenties eager for the pace of a startup.
Bitflyer is not the only cryptocurrency exchange poaching talents from the financial industry. The US-based Coinbase exchange has also been on a hunt for Wall Street experts. Recently, the company brought on Hunter Merghart from Barclays and also hired Eric Scro from the New York Stock Exchange as its vice president of finance.
As more exchanges seek these talents to expand the cryptocurrency market, the financial industry itself is slowly moving towards the same space. Last week, Kano’s former employer, Goldman Sachs announced the first Wall Street based digital asset trading desk signaling it won’t be long before other financial giants move into the crypto space as well.
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