The revolving door policies between regulators and businesses are becoming increasingly blurred lately, and it’s not always clear who is looking out for the public interest and who is serving their own. This can lead to a situation where businesses are able to get away with harmful practices because the regulators are too cozy with the business owners. It also means less accountability because the people who are supposed to be watching out for the public can simply turn a blind eye. This problem is compounded by businesses often having much more money and power than individuals, so they can easily influence the regulatory process. Ultimately, this can result in an unfair and tilted system in favor of special interests.
Why leave Wall Street for Crypto
In recent years, Wall Street executives have been leaving their jobs to join the cryptocurrency industry. There are a few reasons for this. First, the cryptocurrency industry is much less regulated than the traditional financial sector. This allows executives to have more freedom to innovate and take risks. Second, the cryptocurrency industry is experiencing rapid growth. Many executives see this as an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new industry with huge potential. Finally, crypto offers a chance to make a lot of money. With the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies increasing rapidly, many executives see this as an opportunity to cash in on the boom. It’s unclear what the future holds for this trend, but it’s likely that we will see even more Wall Street executives leaving their jobs to join the crypto industry in the years to come.
The so-called “crypto refugees” have been drawn to the new industry by the promise of greater freedom and opportunity. Among them are former Wall Street executives, who have found a more dynamic and entrepreneurial environment in crypto. For many of these individuals, the move has been a chance to take greater control of their careers and be more directly involved in developing new and innovative financial technologies. While the crypto industry is still in its early stages, it will likely continue to attract top talent from across the financial world.
Mike Novogratz, who formerly worked as a partner at Goldman Sachs. In 2017, Novogratz launched Galaxy Digital, a cryptocurrency merchant bank. Galaxy has since helped to finance a number of major crypto projects, including the development of Bakkt, a crypto asset platform founded by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).
Another high-profile Wall Street executive who has entered the crypto space is Blythe Masters. Masters served as JPMorgan’s head of commodities before joining Digital Asset Holdings, a blockchain startup, in 2015. At Digital Asset, Masters helped to develop DAML, a programming language designed for building smart contracts. In 2018, she joined the board of directors at Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). These examples illustrate that there is growing interest from top executives in the potential of crypto assets and blockchain technology. As the industry matures, it is likely that even more high-profile executives will make the jump to crypto.
Brian Brooks is an interesting example. He has had an eclectic career, to say the least. After starting out as a lawyer, he eventually made his way to banking, first working for a bank and then for a mortgage company. But in 2012, he made a major shift, moving to the crypto exchange Coinbase. He spent two years there before moving again, this time to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), where he served as Acting Comptroller. And in January of this year, he returned to Coinbase, this time as Chief Legal Officer. In his various roles, Brooks has been a champion of crypto and blockchain technology, helping to lead the charge in bringing these innovative technologies into the mainstream. With his latest move back to Coinbase, it seems clear that Brian Brooks is fully committed to helping build the future of finance.
Caitlin Long is another example of a Wall Street executive who has made the jump to crypto. She is a former managing director at Morgan Stanley, where she worked for more than two decades. In early 2017, Long left Morgan Stanley to join Symbiont, a startup building blockchain-based financial products. At Symbiont, Long was focused on helping the company develop new ways to use blockchain technology to make financial markets more efficient. In 2018, she also co-founded the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, a group working to promote the adoption of blockchain technology in the state of Wyoming. With her deep understanding of both the financial industry and blockchain technology, Caitlin Long is the founder of Custodia (former Avanti) – one of the first crypto custodians focused on institutional investors.
Roger Bartlett, former managing director at Goldman Sachs, where he worked for more than two decades, has never looked back when he left his Alma mater in 2017 to join Caitlin Long at Symbiont. Bartlett is an experienced capital markets and derivatives specialist with a deep understanding of the financial industry. He believes that blockchain technology is going to revolutionize finance but sees it as just one component in a much broader change across the entire industry. He has now joined Coinbase as their new Chief Financial Officer.
One of JPMorgan Chase’s top execs, Amber Baldet, left the joint in 2018 to co-found Clovyr – a company that provides tools to help developers build decentralized applications (apps). Prior to her departure, Baldet was the head of JPMorgan’s Blockchain Center of Excellence, responsible for developing and launching Quorum – an enterprise-grade blockchain platform. Baldet is a well-known figure in the crypto community and is a strong advocate for the mainstream adoption of blockchain technology. With Clovyr, Baldet aims to build tools that will help companies develop their ideas into decentralized applications or dapps in the future.
These are just a few examples of the many high-profile executives who have made the jump from traditional finance to crypto in recent years. With the growing mainstream interest in crypto assets and blockchain technology, it is likely that we will see even more high-profile moves in the years to come. The revolving door between traditional finance and crypto is likely to continue spinning as the industry evolves.