Yuzo Kano is Japan’s “Bitcoin King”. The former Goldman Sachs trader is most known for leading bitFlyer Inc. to become the largest bitcoin exchange in the country. Now, he is earning a reputation for turning traders and financiers from his former employer and from former rival companies into blockchain enthusiasts to join him in his plan to build a cryptocurrency empire.
So far, his team has more than 150 people including a former desk head at Barclays and even a former banker from Credit Suisse Group AG. Kano is expecting to hit 300 by the end of the year.
In an interview, Kano says:
“My target is to be number one in the world. To get there, I need to grow headcount. And those with the best skills come from global banks.”
Kano explains that because former traders and bankers understand how to operate in regulated markets so they make ideal for cryptocurrency firms.
But this doesn’t mean Kano is exclusively hiring for financial roles. Coders at bitFlyer can make $100,000 even with just a middle school education if they’re good.
While Kano admits that he probably cannot compete with banks in terms of salaries, a number of people in bitFlyer earning more than $200,000 per year.
Former Barclays trader Daisuke Murayama left his higher paying job for bitFlyer in February:
“I just don’t see a future in traditional finance.”