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October 16, 2018
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Another Wall Street Trader Moves to a Cryptocurrency Exchange, Talents Migrate

Wall Street is losing a lot of talented individuals in rather quick succession. Steve Hunt is the latest individual to join this growing list. He is the former CTO of Jump Trading and has been acquired by Kraken, the popular cryptocurrency exchange. It is not the first time talent is poached from Wall Street, nor will it be the last.

Jump Trading CTO Jumps Ship

Trading firms are rather common in Wall Street. While these companies pay a lot of attention to new payment technologies, cryptocurrency is still not making too many inroads. Or so it would appear, as a lot of executives active on Wall Street are looking into this nascent market. Over the past eighteen months, several people have left the financial world in search of success in the Bitcoin world.

Steve Hunt is the latest individual to do exactly that. He is best known for his stint at Jump Trading. This secretive trading firm has been active in the Bitcoin trading industry for quite some time now. As such, it seems a bit odd Hunt would decide to leave this growing company in search of a completely different venture. Jump Trading uses high-speed trading strategies. Steve Hunt oversaw the technical side of this company, as he was their chief technology officer.

Big was people’s surprise when Hunt left Jump Trading back in November of 2017. The departure was rather unexpected, but it seems a bigger plan was set in motion behind the scenes. Popular cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has been looking to hire additional staff since that same period. One of the open positions is a vice president of engineering. That role has now been filled by none other than Steve Hunt himself.

A Smart Move by the Kraken Exchange

This hiring spree by Kraken was direly needed. The company received a lot of negative attention because of its partially degraded performance. The company has undergone a major transformation ever since. Its trading engine, frontend, and backend are all running a lot smoother. To ensure this system remains operation, Steven Hunt will be tasked with keeping an eye on things. Company CEO Jesse Powell commented on Kraken’s plans in 2017 as follows:

“Where a Wall Street vet may not have the most relevant experience (i.e., cryptocurrency gateways), they could certainly help us with trading system technologies. In addition to developers, which we were always actively hiring, we are looking to bring on a VP of engineering, regulatory affairs counsel, trader, compliance manager, product manager, recruiter, and treasurer, just to name a few.”

It is not the first time a cryptocurrency firm attracts talent from Wall Street. Coinbase, Circle, and other companies are all going through the same motions these days. This seems to confirm all of these exchanges will pay more attention to high-speed trading in the near future. It is a positive development for this booming industry a swell. Bitcoin is slowly maturing, and the service providers are evolving alongside it.

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