Despite the ongoing downturn in the cryptocurrency market and the associated forced layoffs at major crypto firms, working in the crypto space is becoming no less attractive for many traditional financial executives.
21Shares, the European provider of crypto exchange-traded funds (ETF), announced three major appointments on Wednesday to expand its presence in countries such as France, Germany and the United Arab Emirates.
Marina Boudin, the newly appointed Head of 21Shares for France, Belgium and Luxembourg, started her crypto career after working for more than 15 years at British global bank Barclays.
Boudin is confident that cryptocurrency “is about the next generation of technology,” and is here to stay despite market volatility or other issues. Having experienced many technological changes throughout her career, she has drawn parallels between cryptocurrencies and the early days of digital trading, saying:
“My career in electronic fixed income trading began in 2000, when traders told me they would never trade electronically. After more than twenty years, this market is now largely electronic.”
“The transition from traditional finance to crypto has been a natural progression for me,” Boudin said in an interview with Cointelegraph, adding that the growth and momentum around cryptocurrency has made her eager to move into crypto.
Oliver Schaefer, the new head of 21Shares for Germany, also joined the crypto ETF with a strong traditional financial background, bringing decades of experience across major financial firms. Before starting his crypto career, Schaeffer spent more than 15 years at US investment bank JPMorgan.
“I believe in the long-term opportunity for cryptocurrencies – the asset class is growing and is only in its early days, so I am focusing on the long-term opportunity versus short-term market conditions,” said Scheffer, adding that Scheffer referred to it as an “exciting time to be in crypto.” , where he first invested in cryptocurrencies in 2020, and eventually grew more interested in technological and industrial developments.
Although JPMorgan is actively involved in the crypto industry, CEO Jamie Dimon is known for some notable criticism of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC). For this, Schaefer – the former CEO of JPMorgan – noted that many institutions have adopted crypto assets after initially skeptical about them, saying:
“It is important to remember that throughout history, many people were initially skeptical about technological developments before they were adopted into the mainstream – as with computers and mobile phones. This is the natural course of technological progress.”
Sherif El-Haddad, the former Head of Asset Management at Dubai-based Al Mal Asset Management, has joined 21Shares as Head of Middle East.
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“I believe in the fundamentals of cryptocurrency and the growth it is expected to experience over the next decade, and I have positioned myself accordingly,” Al-Haddad said. He also stated that he tried to launch an ETF backed by a physical in the money, but his proposal was not approved. he added:
“Cryptocurrencies have been very well received globally by retail investors, and now very high institutional net worth is expected to move in buying after the recent price correction.”
New hires by 21Shares are further evidence that the cryptocurrency market has remained strong despite the bear market and the massive wave of layoffs.
Major crypto companies, including big names like Coinbase and Gemini, have decided to lay off up to 20% of their workforce so far, citing tough market conditions and the onset of an economic recession. In contrast, many crypto firms FTX or crypto exchange Binance continued to recruit more talent during the ongoing crypto winter.