Blockchain experts from traditional banking migrate to new initiatives; and no, it’s not for the money
Everyone knows that the financial sector has not been able to deny any longer the profound impact of cryptocurrencies and the Blockchain, and that yes, it may be just a matter of time before they fully disrupt the financial markets and become the predominant form of currency. That is why, in the heat of the crypto-economy, departments and units of Blockchain experts have been created in every entity that aspires to something in the future of the banking sector. But few people were ready for this movement. But really, after a more detailed analysis, beneath the surface hides a motivation that should not surprise anyone.
The drip of experts who are taking the money and running
A few days ago, Quartz published this article. It brought to light the continuous trickle of renowned Blockchain experts from the financial giants that are migrating to Blockchain startups, or creating their own. The movement is especially significant now that financial giants have finally decided to embrace Blockchain and devote significant resources to their development. They’re trying to lead the further development of the new technology, and many of these entities are currently considered excellent places to work, with (very) good conditions, and that (for now) are considered a safe work environment.
Renowned executives of entities such as BNY Mellon and Deutsche Bank, or prestigious consultants such as PWC, all known and recognized in the crypto-sector for leading initiatives and Blockchain transformations that were an interesting challenge, as well as a future initiative.
These executives have gone to the most disruptive and risky side of innovation in distributed accounting – the Blockchain.
But the trend should not surprise us for its novelty, since it’s something that has been observed in the labor market attached to the crypto-economy for many months now. According to Quartz and other media, the list of executives (and non-executives) who have been emigrating for some time now includes names from top-tier entities such as JPMorgan, Barclays, and the Swiss UBS. The trickle is continuous, and we must ask ourselves why. Why go from the comfort of large financial institutions to an (arguably) risky and unproven market that may crash any day?
Why are all these Blockchain experts going away then?
Before presenting the reasons that these experts argue for leaving, we must put them in context so that we can correctly assess the trend. We must emphasize that these specialists are fleeing from the (presumed) security of a stable position and industry, and have chosen to migrate to Blockchain startups (or to found their own).
These startups are characterized by having an uncertain future yet to be demonstrated, some without a clear business model, in a boiling sector and in which only a few seeds of companies will progress to be the giants of the future. Thus exposed, the decision does not seem very reasonable, and rather even bold: What can be the real motivation of these professionals to opt for the apparently negative sign solution to an equation with such a balance?
The motivation goes far beyond professional development in a prestigious entity, beyond having a more than generous compensation package, beyond leading the transformation of today’s market leaders. The motivation has to do with the fat that digital transformation is not only about evolving technology; it is also transforming people and talent.
For example, Alex Batlin, who left BNY Mellon to create his own crypto-company Trustology (backed by ConsenSys), has stated that “he is a great believer in the fact that the crypto-assets are something really exciting, but to put these ideas into action in the period of time that he proposes in a traditional entity is complicated.” Batlin affirms that, after his decision, there is the motivation to be able to develop quickly and freely in a technology as disruptive as Blockchain. In other words, big banks move too slowly.
Other executives such as Tripathi, who until recently was responsible for Blockchain and Fintech in PWC, told Quartz that the existing bubble in the sector right now will lead to innovation, since with this impending bubble, it will be much easier to attract talent for the startups in Blockchain, since these have a much bigger runway ahead – they say that not everything revolves around money.
A bubble of the crypto-sector that we have been talking about for a long time from different perspectives, as in the analysis “These indicators point to a bubble in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.”We have been one of the first economic publications to analyze this topic for you, long before the “commodity” media, and with the due (and expected) debate raised with some of our most crypto-passionate readers who defend the investment at this time – in Bitcoin or other crypto-coins.
The true facet of the Fintech digital transformation
Because a technology is much easier to manage: after all it works with specifications, developments, white papers etc… Technology and technological products are much more predictable and are much more defined than the people who have to implement them, administer and use them. It is that and not another the main facet of the digital transformation that many entities are ignoring, and that news like that of Quartz article we linked to before, show that it is a losing battle for many traditional giants who are seeing their Blockchain experts go.
The real battle is none other than retaining and attracting the most valuable talent. That is where the most essential factor of this transformation really is, and where they must counter-attack the most traditional giants of the sector if they want to have a place in the future of the Fintech. As you have seen, the idealistic motivations of these executives give of themselves to opt for their march towards an uncertain future: it is that this will be uncertain, but nevertheless it provides many other advantages that are not found in traditional players.
Keep in mind that the profile that best defines most of these executives is that they are big fans of the new Blockchain technology. And, like any self-respecting passion, they want to be able to carry it out with satisfaction and in a short period of time: it’s something that they do not find in the (current) giants of the sector. Because that is precisely the topic of today’s analysis: to retain, and, ultimately, to attract talent, for which it is essential to know how to redirect and satisfy the professional (and even personal) passions of the employees who represent that talent.
The most commendable passions have little to do with money, and much with the freedom of work. But equally important is the attitude with which the digital transformation is faced. If you approach it merely as a means for survival, you’re already dying.
The way to approach this transformation is with the ambition of inventing the future, and contributing to transforming the set of our socioeconomies for the better. The passion for innovation and technology is paradoxically the most difficult to manage. Techies are often idealists, but it just so happens that we also need them so that they contribute as best they know to everyone’s progress. Bottom line, if you do not know how to manage this new talent passion, it will not do you any good to know how to manage money.