Coinbase Hires Ex-Barclays Director to Expand Its Institutional Client Base

The exchange is on a hiring spree and has recently poached many talents from NYSE.

Coinbase, the United States leading cryptocurrency exchange and wallet platform, has recently hired Hunter Merghart, a former trading Director at Barclays, as a sales trader.

Merghart spent over a decade in various roles in equity trading sector. He served as the Director of equity trading for the last three years at Barclays. Before that, he held the position of Vice President at RBC Capital Markets and was the Head of its cash equity trading desk.

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This appointment shows Coinbase’s ambition to expand the exchange’s reach and go head-to-head with New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The US-based exchange is also aiming to add more institutional clients to its Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) exchange with which it made its Wall Street debut in 2014.

Moreover, Coinbase is also launching another service called Coinbase Custodian to provide secure cryptocurrency storage to its institutional clients. The exchange is claiming that the service will be as per the standards of traditional banks’ custody services. However, it will offer this only to clients storing $10 million worth of cryptocurrencies.

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Hiring spree

Coinbase also recently added Christine Sandler, the former Head of Sales for NYSE Euronext, to its team as the Director of institutional sales. Merghart joined her team at New York City.

Moreover, the San Francisco-based exchange also is on a hiring spree and has on-boarded many ex-NYSE talents recently including Eric Scro, ex-Head of finance at NYSE.

However, according to experts, Coinbase has a long way to go to compete with NYSE. ICE’s Head of data Lynn Martin told Business Insider: “You are talking about a market that really was built 225 years ago and has had multiple evolutions as a result of various crises to a very new market.”

“Crypto markets are very, very new. I like to say the guardrails haven’t been found yet in this market. The regulatory framework hasn’t been found yet in this market. That’s why you don’t find institutional users jumping in with feet first yet,” Martin added.

Recently, Coinbase valued itself at $8 billion in an accusation deal, a significant increase from its previous valuation of $1.6 billion.

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