The UK Treasury is advertising for a lead on its proposed central bank digital currency – on LinkedIn.

The government is mulling the introduction of a ‘digital pound’ and will soon launch a public consultation.

Unlike cryptocurrencies, CBDCs are issued by a central bank. Physical money such as notes and coins are not produced; a so-called digital pound would only exist in electronic form.

The 24-month contract for a ‘head of Central Bank Digital Currency’ is based in London or Darlington and pays £61-67,000. The closing date for applications is Tuesday 7th February.

“The successful candidate will be responsible for leadership of HM Treasury’s work on a potential digital pound – a UK central bank digital currency (CBDC). This work is important, complex and cross-cutting, and the leadership will involve extensive engagement across and beyond HM Treasury,” reads the job description.

“Treasury and the Bank of England are working together through the CBDC Taskforce to explore the case for a digital pound. Treasury and the Bank of England have committed to consult jointly on a potential digital pound, and the successful candidate will lead the Treasury team in the wake of the consultation’s issuance, including working with the Bank of England to consider consultation responses. 

“The forward timeline for the work has been set out by Ministers and the Bank of England, and the successful candidate will be responsible for setting strategic direction within Treasury to deliver on that plan.”

The role, separate from the existing head of crypto-assets and digital currencies position, is within the Payments and Fintech Team.

Late last year Andrew Griffith, economic secretary to the Treasury, told fellow MPs on the UK Parliament Treasury Committee that there would be a lengthy runtime up to the introduction of a national CBDC.

The Bank of England says it is “looking carefully at how a UK central bank digital currency (CBDC) might work”, but adds: “We have not yet made the decision to introduce one.”

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Kraken poaches chief compliance officer from

Crypto platform Kraken has appointed CJ Rinaldi from as its chief compliance officer. 

Rinaldi has three decades of experience in financial services. He was at for little more than a year and prior to that held several roles at Deutsche Bank, including chief compliance officer for its swap dealer and US broker dealer. 

He also served as head of business line anti-financial crimes compliance supporting its investment bank, where he led a global team tasked with mitigating financial crime risk, implementing procedures and controls through effective and efficient operational solutions.

Prior to Deutsche Bank, Rinaldi worked at UBS Investment Bank in multiple roles, including as global head of client infrastructure. He also served as senior counsel in the enforcement division of the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

“To accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrencies around the world, Kraken must continue to navigate an increasingly complex regulatory landscape,” said Kraken’s incoming CEO David Ripley. 

“CJ’s impressive international career in both the private and public sectors positions us for continued success in meeting global compliance needs.”

Kraken, founded in 2011, is one of the world’s longest-standing digital asset platforms. Globally, Kraken clients trade more than 200 digital assets and eight national currencies.

The firm is backed by investors including Tribe Capital, SkyBridge, Hummingbird Ventures, Blockchain Capital and Digital Currency Group.

“Kraken’s commitment to security and transparency while building world class products and services makes it the gold standard in an industry that’s shaping the future of finance,” said Rinaldi. “It is trusted players like Kraken that will help ensure the crypto ecosystem operates within all regulatory frameworks.

“I am excited to grow Kraken’s data-driven approach to compliance, ensuring the protection of both the company and its clients.”

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Cryptocurrency shorts

The Saudi Central Bank is extending its research into a potential CBDC. The new phase of its project “focuses on domestic wholesale CBDC use cases in collaboration with local banks and fintechs”. The move is part of Saudi Vision 2030, an initiative to reduce the Kingdom’s dependence on oil and diversify its economy.

Bankrupt crypto lender Celsius is considering a restructure – potentially as a public company – and issuance of a cryptocurrency token to compensate users.

Web3 infrastructure firm Quicknode, which claims to handle billions of blockchain calls daily, has raised $60 million in a Series B funding round led by 10T Holdings.

Crypto infrastructure company Blockstream has raised $125m in convertible note and secured loan financing to expand its bitcoin mining hosting services. The company raised $210m in August at a $3.2 billion valuation.

Porsche is to halt further minting of its Ethereum-based NFTs. Criticised for the high floor price of 0.911 ETH, roughly $1,490, for its virtual 911 sports car NFTs, only a fraction of the 7,500-strong collection sold in the opening hours. It said: “Our holders have spoken.”

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the 22,300 coins is at $1.03 trillion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 2.8% decrease in the last 24 hours.

For round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments, click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.