The Bitstamp cryptocurrency exchange has boosted its talent pool and staff diversity with new hires of former Wall Street employees.
The CEO of Bitstamp USA, Robert Zagotta, says that employees from traditional finance companies express significant interest in new roles. “One of the reasons this is very positive for us is it also brings a higher level of diversity into the talent pool.”
The crypto industry has had a reputation for being male-dominated, with Bain Capital Ventures eliciting backlash on Twitter for hiring a new founding team for an upcoming crypto fund that consisted of only males. This led Stefan Cohen, a Bain Capital Ventures executive to apologize and promise to hire women and other race groups.
Banking industry also not meeting diversity goals
The crypto industry is not alone in its diversity struggles, as top U.S. banks are coming under scrutiny for male-dominated leadership structures, and are facing pressure to promote more women to leadership positions. Citigroup Inc.’s Jane Fraser is the only woman ever to lead a major U.S. bank.
At Bitstamp USA, the number of women hires in 2022 jumped to 60%, compared to 37% in 2021.
Wall Street has experienced a brain drain recently, as senior banking employees jump the fence from traditional finance (TradFi) to crypto companies. Most notably, many of these new crypto hires have taken up senior positions in the crypto industry. Bitstamp’s CCO Mel Tsiaprazis previously worked at Lloyds Banking Group, while Sabrina Wilson currently holds the position of chief operating officer at Copper, having formerly been Citigroup’s co-head of futures, clearing, and foreign exchange.
Alesia Haas, CEO of Coinbase Global Inc. previously worked for Och-Ziff Capital Management, while Blythe Masters jumped ship from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to CEO of Digital Asset in 2015. She stepped down in 2018 but remained a board member, adviser, and shareholder. “She helped bring credibility to the industry, especially back in the day,” opined Henri Arslanian, a crypto leader at PwC.
Former TradFi experts have valuable skills
Zagotta himself hails from the CME Group Inc. and says that those with backgrounds in equities, derivatives, or asset management have valuable skills to offer Bitstamp. Bitstamp aims to provide crypto access to banks, brokers, and fintech companies.
Bitstamp Ltd., the parent company of Bitstamp USA serves a client base consisting of 12% female customers, up from 3% in 2016.
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