The crypto ecosystem picked yet another executive from traditional finance. Two months after raising $263 million, the Europe-based cryptocurrency trading platform Bitpanda announced that Joshua Barraclough, a former exec at JP Morgan, joined its ranks as the CEO of its fully-regulated digital asset exchange Bitpanda Pro.
Before transitioning into the crypto world, Barraclough worked as the global head of the fintech team and then as the co-head of digital innovation at JP Morgan. Answering Cointelegraph’s questions about the transition, Barraclough said that leaving JP Morgan to join Bitpanda was an easy decision.
“I have always been at the bleeding edge of innovation, and my job at JP Morgan was to launch new businesses to challenge and transform traditional finance,” he said, adding:
“The crypto ecosystem is the most exciting part of that right now, with an incredible pace of change and growth in adoption. We want further to bridge the gap between digital assets and traditional finance, building on my prior experience.”
Barraclough reminded the skyrocketed crypto adoption and fresh institutional money. “This wave of institutional investment, unaffected by many of the regulatory worries of the last bull run, has proven the viability of Bitcoin (BTC) as a secure store of value and inflation hedge,” he explained.
He also pointed to the increasing interest in other Layer 1 protocols such as Solana and Avalanche and innovative DeFi applications. “Far from being the meme-fueled gamble that many still view it as, investors are treating cryptocurrencies in the same way as stocks and ETFs,” he added.
“Bitcoin is a $1 trillion asset and has seen the world’s biggest investors allocate significant portions of their portfolios to the currency. When the likes of JPMorgan and Blackrock are taking an investment seriously, it’s a sure sign that it’s here to stay.”
Speaking about cryptocurrencies’ role as a gateway to more traditional investments, Barraclough highlighted that crypto is gaining traction as the first investment asset for younger digital natives and “acts as a gateway to further financial education, building wealth through a diversified portfolio.”
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Bitpanda is known to offer digitized versions of precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum. This portfolio is yet to be added to Bitpanda Pro, an advanced and EU-wide regulated version of the main platform. Barraclough told Cointelegraph that the exchange is “actively looking at offering even more traditional assets other than gold and silver, using blockchain technology and tokenization to facilitate this.”
Bitpanda has secured $263 million in a Valar Ventures-led Series C round, bringing its total market value to $4.1 billion. Besides new hires, the company then announced that it would use the fresh capital to expand to new markets in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal.