Fireblocks Hires Former Bank of England Fintech Chief to Lead CBDC Efforts

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Fireblocks, a provider of crypto custody technology, hired Varun Paul, the former head of fintech at the Bank of England, as its first director of central bank digital currency (CBDC) and market infrastructure.

  • Paul will lead Fireblocks' efforts to build infrastructure for the integration of CBDCs, the firm announced Tuesday. He served for nearly 14 years at the U.K.'s central bank, spending the past 15 months as head of fintech.

  • He will also engage with market infrastructure bodies to explore the benefits of supporting digital assets and participating in decentralized finance (DeFi).

  • Fireblocks has a strategy of helping feed the appetite for DeFi among mainstream financial institutions.

  • With central banks in almost every major economy expressing intent to explore the development of a CBDC – a digital version of a fiat currency for use as cash – Fireblocks is keen to be at the forefront of providing infrastructure and technical know-how.

  • "From CBDC developments to the tokenization of traditional financial assets, bridging digital assets and blockchain technologies to traditional institutions at scale will require strong working relationships with the central bank community," Fireblocks' head of corporate strategy, Adam Levine, said.

Read more: Banks May Face Competition From CBDCs, Study Suggests

UPDATE (June 1, 07:49 UTC): Changes description of Fireblocks to "provider of crypto custody technology" from "cryptocurrency custody firm."