London Metal Exchange chief Matthew Chamberlain is quitting after five years in the role to join a crypto start up.
Chamberlain will become the chief executive officer of digital asset custodian Komainu, a company which safeguards $5bn worth of crypto on behalf of its clients.
Komainu was founded in 2018 as a joint venture between global investment bank Nomura, digital asset security firm Ledger, and Coinshares.
Commenting on his appointment, Chamberlain said: “I have always been passionate about building safe and efficient solutions to ensure global markets function as effectively as possible.
“With its regulated institutional custody platform for cryptocurrencies and broader digital assets, Komainu’s hybrid servicing model combines the best of traditional and decentralised finance, and truly represents the natural evolution of our industry,” he continued.
Chamberlain is the latest experienced executive from traditional markets to be lured into the crypto space. Last year former chancellor Philip Hammond also joined digital asset custodian Copper as an advisor, signalling a collision between the worlds of traditional and decentralized finance.
Chamberlain leaves after a turbulent year for the London Metal Exchange, a trading a price formation venue for commodities including copper and aluminium. Relations with brokers have been strained over modernisation plans which involve shutting down the historical outcry trading floor, the last one left in Europe.
Chamberlain said he believes strongly “in the transformative capacity of a blockchain-empowered world” and the role of crypto in creating an “unprecedented period of financial democratisation.”