Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase continues to add Wall Street veterans, this time bringing in J.P. Morgan longtime executive director Oputa Ezediaro to take on a key role within its Institutional Coverage Department.
The latest appointment comes as the San Francisco-based venue is furthering its bid to cater to institutional investors, including hedge fund managers and venture capitalists, as it aims to lure them to invest in its recently-launched offerings.
Ezediaro’s departure ends a more than 11-year tenure with J.P. Morgan where he assumed several positions across the firm’s fixed-income securities and emerging markets desks. He started his career as graduate rotation analyst with JPMorgan Chase & Co. back in 2004.
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Specifically, the US largest crypto exchange and wallet platform expects to increase its manpower by more than seven-fold, from its 20 employees to 150 employees next year.
Coinbase’s head of institutional sales, Christine Sandler, said before that the company wants to convince institutional investors to invest in cryptocurrencies in order to establish digital currencies as a legitimate asset class. Sandler is a former New York Stock Exchange executive.
Over the last two years, demand for the seven-year-old company’s services has soared exponentially along with the price of cryptocurrencies themselves. At one point, the digital currency venue added 100,000 users in just 24 hours, continuing a record spurt lasting since US exchanges announced plans to launch Bitcoin futures.
Although many crypto exchanges offer similar services, Coinbase has been the go-to shop as it allows users to connect their bank accounts and thus use fiat money for transacting cryptocurrencies.