Fireblocks, the industry leader and award-winning digital asset and crypto technology provider, announced today it has appointed the former Head of Fintech at the Bank of England, Varun Paul, as its new Central Banking Digital Currency (CBDC) and Market Infrastructure Director. In this new role, Paul will serve on Fireblocks’ Corporate Strategy team and report to Fireblocks’ Vice President and Head of Corporate Strategy, Adam Levine.
Paul is a graduate of Cambridge University who earned a Master’s degree in Economics. After college, Paul served in multiple roles at the Bank of England for 14 years, ultimately spearheading its fintech hub and future of finance initiatives.
“Varun brings a wealth of insight and experience from his tenure at the Bank of England that will be invaluable to our team as we engage and partner with leading central banks around the world,” said Levine. “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. We are excited about Varun’s ability to help support the digital asset strategy of central banks and market infrastructures.”
As Fireblocks’ first Director of CBDC and Market Infrastructure, Paul will lead the company’s engagement with central banks and market infrastructures as they begin adopting digital asset and tokenization technologies. In this capacity, Paul will play a key role in educating key decision-makers on secure and scalable solutions to support digital assets and exploring the potential benefits of participating in permissioned DeFi and the secondary economy it powers.
This announcement comes on the heels of a wave of countries that have announced plans to adopt central bank digital currencies. In February, United States President, Joe Biden, signed an executive order that would direct federal agencies to look into the possible infrastructure needed to create a US CBDC due to the $3 trillion dollar in digital asset market cap as of November 2021. According to the IMF, around 100 countries are exploring CBDC projects or initiatives, including the UK, US, India, Singapore, and Switzerland.
“Fireblocks is the clear leader when it comes to providing secure, scalable technologies for digital asset and crypto-forward businesses,” said Varun Paul, Fireblocks’ new Director of CBDC and Market Infrastructure. “Financial innovation in CBDC, DeFi and tokenization is rapidly accelerating, and my new role at Fireblocks allows me the privilege and opportunity to work alongside some of the most forward-thinking organizations in the world as they prepare for one of the sector’s greatest transformations.”
Since launching in 2019, Fireblocks has onboarded more than 1,300 institutional customers who use its platform to secure more than $210 billion in monthly digital asset transfers. To date, Fireblocks’ technology has garnered industry recognition with awards that include Hedgeweek Europe’s Best Custodian Innovation and Best Cyber Security Provider; Microsoft Security Trailblazer Award; and The Hottest Blockchain Startup in 2020 from the Europas.