BoE head moves to crypto custodian firm

Varun Paul worked at the Bank of England (BoE) for almost 14 years

Bank of England website screen                                 
Bank of England website screen - Photo:Alamy
                                

Varun Paul, head of the fintech hub at the Bank of England (BoE) has left the central bank to start a new position at the crypto custody firm Fireblocks.

Via LinkedIn, Paul announced he is leaving the central bank after working there for almost 14 years.

Paul said: “I have loved my time here, because of the great people and the varied and incredibly rewarding work. And because I’ve been given the space to drive forward the agenda on the things I’m passionate about.”

The former head of fintech at the BoE did not reveal what position he is taking up at Fireblocks.

The BoE’s crypto sceptic past

Paul is leaving a well-known crypto sceptic organisation to join a company which embraces the digital asset class.

In December 2021, Sir Jon Cunliffe, deputy governor for financial stability at the BoE said the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies could pose a risk to traditional financial systems that the UK central bank needs to be ready for.

The deputy governor wanted to make clear that cryptos are “growing very fast” with fund managers showing interest in holding cryptos – which could pose a risk to the financial system.

Cunliffe added that cryptos are known to be volatile assets and stated “they could theoretically or practically drop to zero.”

Crypto risk to financial stability getting ‘closer'

A month prior to making these remarks Cunliffe also said he does not believe bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto assets are currently a risk to financial stability but said “the point at which they pose a risk is getting closer.”

Cunliffe added that cryptos are growing very quickly, and “becoming integrated more into the traditional financial system.”

The deputy governor argued that regulators and legislators need to think about crypto and what is going on in the sector and stated “We need to start working to ensure the regulation is there.”

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