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Those who stayed, joined and almost joined the $ 300 million raise of Coinbase

The Crypto exchange Coinbase startup is a hot place to work – and undoubtedly a popular destination for technologists looking to improve their Silicon Valley career.

One of the few unicorns in the cryptocurrency industry – or companies valued at over $ 1 billion (Coinbase was valued at $ 8 billion in the last $ 300 million loan round in October 2018) – The San Francisco-based exchange has nearly 800 staff members and adds "dozens of employees every week," spokeswoman Rachael Horwitz told CoinDesk.

This aggressive expansion included the opening of an office in New York with the intention of hiring 100, the supply of talent with a new egg freeze advantage and the launch of an OTC trading counter. in November.

Recently, however, the company has seen some exits, as at least nine middle or high level employees have left in the last three months to join the companies both inside and outside the cryptographic space.

Some of them cited the exciting opportunities of their new employers to explain their moves, while others expressed frustration about changes in direction in a rapidly growing society in a rapidly changing space.

What follows is a rundown of substantial departures and hiring at Coinbase – plus a recruitment that ultimately did not work.

Who left

Departures during this period included some of the first members of the team.

In October, the vice president and general manager of Coinbase Institutional Adam White, the fifth employee of the unicorn crypto, quit his job. He soon became the chief operating officer of Bakkt, the exchange of cryptographic derivatives founded by the Intercontinental Exchange (parent company of the New York Stock Exchange), which is awaiting regulatory approval before launch.

Hunter Merghart, the head of Coinbase's business, resigned at the end of October, after just six months of work. Merghart, who was hired by White, was reportedly frustrated by the lack of resources and clarity on the roadmap to building an institutional business.

In November, principal policymaker Mike Lempres left for venture capital company Andreessen Horowitz, one of Coinbase's investors. "As a lawyer and risk officer during a period of tremendous growth for Coinbase, Mike has been instrumental in developing the company's legal and compliance functions and has guided our vision of trust through compliance. , said Coinbase in Bloomberg.

Then, in December, Jeremy Henrickson, chief product officer, left Coinbase after more than two years in the company. The exchange defined Henrickson's contribution to the "invaluable" company, adding: "He helped build our discarded startup team in a high-functioning product and engineering organization, overseeing a 5x + team growth."

The same month, one of the first employees who joined Coinbase in 2013, the head of Rees Atlas risk operations, left the exchange for the launch of the Twilio marketing communications.

More recently, at least four managers left Coinbase this month, including Vaishali Mehta, a senior compliance manager who became the head of compliance for TrustToken, the company behind the stablecoin in TrueUSD.

"I really connected to TrustToken's vision to promote a new financial future that is resilient to fraud, bankruptcy and greed," Mehta told CoinDesk through a spokesperson.

Previously unreported, Coinbase's information technology director, Warren Tagle, left for Sonder this month, a startup that provides travel accommodation research. In addition, two members of the Coinbase investigative team who monitored suspicious activities in the exchange – Brooke Contreras and Colin Mason – left in different directions. Contreras joined the American Express and Mason went to the Wyre blockchain money transfer startup.

"We are incredibly proud of our network of former alumni and we encourage employees to start their career crypto in Coinbase, as many of them continue to make significant contributions to the broader cryptosystem," a spokesperson for CoinDesk told Coinbase.

Who joined

But do not make mistakes, Coinbase has also successfully attracted the best minds of Wall Street during the fall of 2018 to prepare to bring institutional investors to the exchange.

In September, the manager of Fannie Mae, Brian Brooks, joined Coinbase as the legal director, replacing Mike Lempres. "His arrival is part of our effort to expand our legal, compliance and government affairs capabilities as we head to the next chapter for the company and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole," he wrote CEO Brian Armstrong in a blog post.

The following month, former Charles Schwab executive Chris Dodds joined Coinbase's board of directors. "His vast experience will be a resource for the Coinbase leadership team as we focus on scaling down our business," Armstrong wrote in a separate blog post. "Adding it to Coinbase's board of directors is part of our effort to expand our financial services capabilities as we tackle the next chapter for the company and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole."

Another veteran of Wall Street, the former executive director of JPMorgan, Oputa Ezediaro, who led the fixed income securities and the emerging markets departments of the bank, became part of the Institutional Coverage Group of Coinbase in October.

In early 2018, two other executives joined Coinbase to drive institutional sales. Eric Scro, former head of finance at the New York Stock Exchange, became vice president of finance at Coinbase in March. "As vice president of finance, Eric will be focused on helping serve institutional clients and address the increasingly complex financial and regulatory requirements of the company … Eric will also help drive the growth of the company. New York office in multiple business functions and to assist in the development of new product offerings such as Coinbase Custody, "wrote Armstrong.

Following Scro, the former head of electronic equity sales for Barclays, Christine Sandler joined the exchange in April as director of institutional sales.

In addition to finance professionals, a number of people moved to Coinbase from other technology startups during the year, including Facebook, AirBnB, LinkedIn and Uber.

For example, senior data analyst Emily Loh arrived at Coinbase from Uber in December, and data vice president Michael Li, who joined in September, left LinkedIn for the encrypted exchange. Also in December, Amy Ke joined Deloitte as head of operations and strategy after almost three years. Coinbase confirmed these assumptions, refusing to provide specific details.

Who almost Signed up

Finally, the planned on-boarding of Jonathan Kellner, a Wall Street veteran and former CEO of brokerage firm Instinet, is no longer on the agenda.

The initial plan foresaw that Kellner would drive sales and institutional support at Coinbase and integrated the brokerage firm Keystone Capital into an exchange business, an acquisition announced in June 2018.

But now Kellner is no longer joining Coinbase, The Block reported last week. The exchange is no longer focused on traditional institutions such as banks, but rather on encrypted funds, Dan Romero, vice president of Coinbase, explained in the article.

A Coinbase spokesperson confirmed to CoinDesk that Kellner is no longer joining the team. Kellner did not respond to requests for comment.

Image of Adam White through the CoinDesk consensus files.

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