by Cindy Huynh
Credit Suisse Investment banker Brian Wirtz, known for his optimistic perspective on blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency industry, is leaving the company after five years. Wirtz decided to quit Credit Suisse to start a new venture that advises ICO startups.
According to CCN, Wirtz was interested and became involved with bitcoin since 2012. After joining Credit Suisse, Wirtz pushed the firm to engage in more cryptocurrencies deals. The Zurich-based bank, however, expressed doubt over the legitimacy of cryptocurrency and its long-term development. The misalignment may be a potential reason why Wirtz is leaving the company.
Wirtz’s passion for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology can also be seen on his LinkedIn profile. On the professional social media site, Wirtz mentions that he is a “blockchain and cryptoasset investment banking advisory.” Furthermore, he previously described himself as the head of blockchain advisory at the bank. He was seen at Credit Suisse as a critical team member that helped the cryptocurrency team achieve their strategic missions.
Promoting Cryptocurrency Trades at Credit Suisse
Since joining Credit Suisse, Wirtz spent the majority of his time preaching cryptocurrency assets. He expressed great interest in cryptocurrency-related trade than traditional banking activities. Wirtz, however, had to spend six months convincing his firm to sign a contract for a bitcoin mining company. Credit Suisse is however reasonably open when it comes to cryptocurrencies. They previously hosted cryptocurrency conferences for investors in US cities. Wirtz also mentioned that Credit Suisse “was leading the charge among bulge brackets for cryptocurrencies.”
However, unlike Wirtz, Tidjane Thiam, the chief executive officer of Credit Suisse, is slightly apprehensive and skeptical of the cryptocurrency industry. He believes that the regulatory uncertainty will be detrimental to the future of all cryptocurrencies. Thiam mentioned in a press conference last year that :
“from what we can identify, the only reason today to buy or sell bitcoin is to is to make money, which is the very definition of speculation and the very definition of a bubble.”
Like Credit Suisse, Swiss global financial services company UBS Group also expressed uncertainty towards the future of cryptocurrency assets and had kept a safe distance from any activity concerning cryptocurrencies.
Wirtz Works with Security Token Offerings
As CNN mentioned, Wirtz quit the Swiss bank to begin his venture to advise ICO startups that intend to issue security token offerings. Wirtz’s decision to join the cryptocurrency industry is excellent news for the community. His experience as a previous banker in a renowned company will be of great benefit to many companies.
Wirtz’s advice to these ICO companies may make crypto-related work more legitimate among traditional bankers, especially since banks are shifting towards a more technological and newer sector of banking.
Wirtz is however not the only member to leave a financial institution for the cryptocurrency industry. Marco Abel, former digital chief at Credit Suisse also created an Ethereum blockchain investment platform called Tend, a marketplace that shares tokenized luxury goods. Another former employee Nikolay Storonsky also started a new venture called Revolut that acts as a digital banking alternative.