Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance has hired banking and fintech veteran Teana Baker-Taylor to lead its expansion in the United Kingdom and European market.

Baker-Taylor has over 20 years of experience in HSBC, Citi, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, and was the executive director of U.K.-headquartered blockchain and digital assets industry body Global Digital Finance. 

In 2018 and 2019, she was recognized as one of the most influential women in fintech globally by Innovate Finance and was also awarded the Blockchain Leader award by Women In Tech in 2019. In an interview with Cointelegraph on May 8, Baker-Taylor said:

I spent significant time in my career in banking, specifically in payments, treasury and capital markets. These areas of traditional finance also happen to be where the most innovation and disruption has occurred over the past few years.

The emergence of fintech, Baker-Taylor added, with its drive to reduce friction and increase transparency in financial services, has paved the way for the adoption of digital assets and blockchain. 

Increasingly, she has focused her efforts on bridging between traditional and decentralized finance, both of which she says share similar commercial opportunities, regulatory hurdles and security and reputational risk concerns. 

“I believe digital assets have the potential to revolutionize money at a macro level — as a burgeoning asset class, as a new means to raise capital globally, and through the tokenization of products,” Baker-Talor said. Their impact can, in her view, broaden access to financial services and wealth creation, which has “historically been inaccessible to the masses.”

Baker-Taylor says the UK remains “hugely important” post-Brexit

At Binance, Baker-Taylor said she will draw upon her previous experience in commercial strategy, product and proposition development, as well as marketing, communications and regulatory policy. In her role, she will lead the exchange’s development of a new suite of services for the U.K. and European markets.

Despite Brexit, the U.K. “continues to be a hugely important global market,” which is integral to Binance’s growth, she said. London remains the largest market for foreign exchange and the second-largest financial center in the world. In the past decade, the U.K. has invested heavily in financial innovation, as Baker-Taylor noted:

Challenger banks, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding platforms were born during this avant-garde time in U.K. financial markets. As a result, the U.K. has secured a position as a global innovation hub through government investment, attracting talent and venture capital, and with a progressive financial regulator who has demonstrated a willingness to engage and collaborate with industry participants. 

As Cointelegraph has reported, the U.K.-born digital banking app Revolut has recently moved to fast-track its crypto services for all standard users, saying it is widening access earlier than planned due to the global economic crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

By February of this year, the app had grown to become one of Europe’s most valuable fintech firms and has recently launched services in the United States.

Binance’s own global expansion efforts include new services rolled out last month in two major emerging markets, India and Indonesia, and sustained extension of fiat gateways, with current support for crypto purchases using credit cards in over 50 jurisdictions worldwide.