Lord Philip Hammond, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer in the United Kingdom, has joined cryptocurrency custodial Startup Copper as a senior advisor with the goal of "promoting the UK as a worldwide leader in digital asset technology."
The London-based start-up, which offers custodial and infrastructure services in the digital asset industry, allegedly enables more than $50 billion in transaction value each month for over 400 institutional clients.
Between 2016 to 2019, Hammond served as chancellor and was praised for developing the country's financial technology industry and promoting a capitalistic atmosphere for new firms.
Speaking about his new job in crypto, Hammond shared his vision for a future of blockchain interoperability in the United Kingdom:
“If we can bring together the best of Britain entrepreneurs, industry, government, and regulators to create and enable a blockchain-based ecosystem for financial services, we will secure the UK’s global leadership in this field for decades ahead.”
Following a public revolt over his and Boris Johnson's party's handling of Brexit talks, Hammond withdrew from politics in November 2019 after a 22-year stint as a Conservative Member of Parliament, or MP.
After voting against his party to prevent a no-deal Brexit, Hammond was deprived of his whip — a designation that designates members of the party accountable for enforcing parliamentary votes — and therefore stood down and did not fight for re-election in his seat of Runnymede and Weybridge.
Since the fallout, Hammond has taken on another advising job to Saudi Arabia's Finance Minister, with whom he has maintained excellent ties throughout his career.
Copper received a $75 million financial boost in June of this year, including a $12.5 million gift from British billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard.
Dmitry Tokarev, Copper's CEO, commented on the company's intention to extend their activities from their London headquarters with the inclusion of their newly hired renowned political figure:
"With Lord Hammond’s expertise adding to the strength of our team, we look forward to growing Copper and further enhancing the UK’s digital asset technology offering.”
This isn't the first time a British politician has acted as an advisor to the cryptocurrency business.
Andrew Hammond (no related to Philip), a Treasury Select Committee member, has joined cryptocurrency exchange IronX to help regulatory issues.
Similarly, during the epidemic, Matt Hancock, the former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom, praised blockchain technology at a London Blockchain Conference in April 2018, stating that it will have a "monumental impact" on the lives of ordinary people.