The institutional head and the fifth employee of a leading US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, Adam White, has reportedly quit. He was most recently the vice president and general manager of the institutional business. Prior to that, White served in the U.S. Air Force and was a consultant at Bain & Co., and has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Coinbase's spokesperson told Bloomberg that:
“While we’re extremely sad to see him go, we’re also confident in that group’s ability to keep executing on the vision that he laid out to be the most trusted venue for institutional investors to trade cryptocurrencies."
White joined Coinbase in 2013 when the founders were still working out of a one-bedroom apartment and Bitcoin was trading around $200, Bloomberg notes. The biggest cryptocurrency peaked at almost $20,000 in December 2017 and has recently been trading around $6,500.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said to the source:
“Over the past five years, Adam helped us build our exchange business into the largest U.S.-based crypto-trading venue, and was integral to growing Coinbase’s global presence and scaling our culture to multiple offices."
Earlier this week, Coinbase appointed Jonathan Kellner as Managing Director of its Institutional Coverage Group. Kellner has over two decades of financial markets experience. Most recently he served as CEO of Instinet, an early pioneer of electronic trading and execution services. In his new role at Coinbase, Kellner will take charge of its institutional sales and support organizations, and will play a role in bringing the suite of institutional crypto trading products to professional investors.
Coinbase believes that cryptocurrencies will evolve into a fully fledged, tradable asset class as they mature and the institutional investors of all types will play a critical role in the market. These participants will range from crypto-first institutions such as token issuers and crypto hedge funds to more traditional finance players such as hedge funds, banks, asset managers and family offices, it adds.
The San Francisco-based exchange has been on the hiring spree since the start of this year. This week, Coinbase announced that Chris Dodds, a member of the board at Charles Schwab, would be joining the exchange’s board. In late September, the company hired former Fannie Mae General Counsel Brian Brooks as its new Chief Legal Officer; former Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft employee Tim Wagner also joined Coinbase as vice president of engineering this summer.
Recent reports have suggested that it could soon be valued at $8 billion following the major investment of $500 million from UK-based hedge fund Tiger Global Management.