Former banker secures millions in funding to spread reach and product from fiat into digital currencies. Ex-Credit Suisse trader is one of many exiting traditional finance to move into digital currency startups. Companies in the space quickly grow, with some big names backing.
Trader turned startup founder, Nikolay Storonsky has secured an investment of $66mln in order to expand his banking startup into offering clients digital currencies alongside fiat. Freshly funded Revolut plans to expand into US and Asia together as well as the cryptocurrency rollout.
Bloomberg points out:
“…plans to let customers hold, exchange, spend and transfer virtual currencies such as bitcoin, litecoin and ethereum for free, profiting from the price differences between buyers and sellers as opposed to charging commision.”
Prior to the London based startup, Storonsky was an experienced trader having worked at Lehman Brothers in emerging market derivatives and Credit Suisse as an equity derivatives trader.
Currently Revolut offers an application and physical card targeted at travellers using different currencies but with the benefit of circumventing [usually hidden] fees. Storonsky claims that customer acquisition is already at over 80,000 users since the 2015 launch. Around 140 employees work at the company in London, Krakow and Moscow and plans to open in New York and Singapore with an additional 20 staff.
The new market offering customers the benefits of digital currency while clients face fiat is quickly forming, and very competitively at that. On the other side of the Atlantic, Goldman Sach’s Circle is a similar product on the market and while users are currently only looking at fiat, traders backend profit by trading cryptocurrencies. CEO Jeremy Allaire says:
“We’re putting forward this hybrid fiat-digital currency model, which gives users the benefits of digital currency – instant settlements, global interoperability, no fees and high levels of security – but without having to use a new currency”.
The list of former bankers entering the digital currency marketplace in one form or another is growing. Ex-JP Morgan Blythe Masters and former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins to name a few well accomplished ones.