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A successful career in cryptocurrency? It’s possible, and Joe Ciccolo, CJ’04, Founder and President, BitAML, is proof. For Joe, Bitcoin is synonymous with innovation, and he’s put his career on the line for it.

As a career anti-money laundering expert, Joe knew the banking system, with its archaic technology and redundant processes, was due for an upgrade. So, when he heard about bitcoin – the decentralized cryptocurrency that’s traded digitally – unlike his colleagues, Joe saw opportunity. In a market thirsty for credibility, in 2015, Joe launched BitAML, a cryptocurrency compliance advisory firm that brings legitimacy to cryptocurrency transactions around the world.

How did Northeastern impact your professional journey?

My co-op with Liberty Mutual’s corporate investigations department had a profound impact on my major, and eventually, my career in compliance for financial institutions. I got my first job through a connection I made at Liberty Mutual. I owe a lot to the co-op program for helping me define, or rather, redefine, my career track.

How do you stay ahead of the curve?

Keep learning. Keep reading, keep researching, keep making new connections, and constantly ask questions. Adopt a student or lifelong learner mentality in any field and you’ll be successful; absorb lessons from a myriad sources, be it industry groups, peers, or even competitors. Bottom line: never stop learning, never stop, period.

One piece of advice for someone starting at Northeastern.

Develop professional relationships with your professors outside of the classroom, especially during office hours. Make sure you work hard and prove yourself to your co-op employer, because many of those opportunities can and do lead to full time jobs. And, if you have the time and the stomach, take things a step further, and launch a startup!

What’s next for you?

BitAML just opened our office in Northern California and are working on a number of new tech innovations that will benefit this fast-growing industry. We’re also hoping to introduce more Northeastern co-op students into our company. The co-op program was such a benefit to me personally and professionally as a student, I’m hoping I’ll get the opportunity to give back as an employer.

published October 2018

Interested in reading more about Joe’s career trajectory?
Read his article for Career Newsletter: Breaking Into Cryptocurrency: From Traditional Banking To Bitcoin.