Former Spark Capital partner and advisor Rachael Horowitz has officially become the latest of a series of high-profile Coinbase hires over the last several months. Horowitz, who is joining Coinbase’s ranks as the new Vice President of Communications, has also served as Director of Technology Communications at Facebook and Twitter.
“Coinbase is currently experiencing a period of profound growth,” reads the blog post announcing Horowitz’s hiring. The company has recently enlisted a number of new C-level executives, including former New York Stock Exchange head of finance Eric Scro in early March. Several days before Scro, the firm hired Emilie Choi, former LinkedIn Vice President of Corporate Development, as the new President of Corporate and Business Development.
— Rachael Horwitz (@RachaelRad) April 9, 2018
Several weeks before Choi, Coinbase acquired former Twitter executive Tina Bhatnagar as its new Vice President of Operations and Technology.
Coinbase Charges Forward
As one of the largest and most popular exchanges in the United States, Coinbase seems to have taken its role as an industry leader very seriously, especially given the context of regulatory change in the US. Coinbase is the only FDIC-insured crypto exchange. A company blog post from August 2016 reads that “if we want a convenient way for people to move large amounts of money into digital currency, we need digital currency companies who embrace and excel at compliance.”
The addition of Horowitz, Bhatnagar, and Choi to the Coinbase team may also represent another kind of leadership. The company seems to have been making an active effort against the exclusionary culture that has kept women out of high-powered positions in the tech world for so long.
Also glad to see @coinbase headhunting so many badass executive women.
In just the last three months:
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And hopefully even more to come.
— Jessica Verrilli (@jess) April 9, 2018
In a New York Times report entitled Women in Cryptocurrencies Push Back Against ‘Blockchain Bros’, Future Perfect Ventures founder Jalak Jobanputra said that “the early days are what decide the culture of an industry and who gets involved in making the decisions.”
Female participation in the blockchain industry is strikingly low – the same report said that some studies have estimated that “women account for only 4 percent to 6 percent of blockchain investors.”
Women, consider crypto. Otherwise the men are going to get all the wealth, again.
— Alexia Bonatsos (@alexia) January 25, 2018
We can only hope that other industry participants put forth the active effort to make conscious changes that end exclusionary hiring practices in the world of blockchain that have plagued the tech industry since its inception.