Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, Goldman and Others Ramp up Crypto Staffs

Wall Street leaders who scorned bitcoin over a decade ago are now looking more intensively at crypto recruits, Bloomberg writes.

Leaders are paying big premiums to those recruits and looking into creating a bigger base of cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

There has been an uptick in crypto-related hirings, with big banks adding around 1,000 such roles since 2018.

That expansion comes as Wall Street navigates the relationship it’s had with crypto, with banks not really getting on board in recent years. The report says JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon had decried crypto as “worthless” and called it a fraud in 2017.

Recently, there has been more acceptance of crypto, along with increasing interest from clients. That has tempered the banks’ animosity. Instead, banks have been adding a number of research teams and trading desks, along with big compensation bumps.

“The banks can’t run the risk that their clients go to another bank to do these services, so they need to build up,” said Alan Johnson, managing director of Wall Street compensation consultancy Johnson Associates. “This is a big asset, a big opportunity, and they need people and need them in a hurry. They’re willing to pay a lot.”

But things might not end up all so rosy, with crypto being subject to more attention from regulators. That includes China’s recent rules banning banks from offering services related to crypto as well as transactions. In response, bitcoin miners have been looking at going elsewhere to do their work.

Cryptocurrency has seen a reevaluation as of late, with the European Central Bank looking into how the digital euro would appeal to users and not be overwhelmed by private types of payment.

Read more: ECB Board Member: Digital Euro Would Not Be Redundant

The ECB is working alongside the European Commission to answer numerous policy, legal and design questions about the digital euro. The team is figuring out what would happen if the currency becomes legal across the whole continent.

Currently, the ECB hasn’t decided whether to roll out a digital euro. But it might happen around 2025 if approved.