Coinbase, the operator of the US’ biggest cryptocurrency exchange, has hired its first chief compliance officer. The move is part of its continuing push into the mainstream economy.
The purpose of a compliance officer is to ensure that a company’s activities remain within the law. Such a role at a cryptocurrency company might have seemed an amusing juxtaposition not too long ago, but many countries are altering their laws to accommodate the new industry, and Coinbase is one company that has demonstrated an interest in taking advantage of this.
Asiff Hirji, President and COO of Coinbase, wrote in the company blog: “As Coinbase – along with the cryptocurrency space as a whole – grows and matures, continued regulatory compliance across all the varying jurisdictions globally will be critical.”
From Goldman Sachs to Pershing to Coinbase
The man hired for the job is one Jeff Horowitz, a man who has worked in the financial industry for almost 30 years. He has held high level positions at big companies like Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, and Citigroup, according to information made public on his Linkedin profile.
His last job was as chief compliance officer of Pershing LLC, a New Jersey-based financial services company which handles nearly $1.8 trillion in assets. Horowitz held that role for six years, and worked at the firm for almost 12 all told.
A busy July for Coinbase
Coinbase Pro, Coinbase’s cryptocurrency exchange, handled $177.9 million in trading over the last 24 hours, according to coinmarketcap.com, making it the busiest cryptocurrency exchange in the US and the tenth most popular in the world.
July has brought a few developments for the company. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, it was readmitted to the allowed-to-advertise-on-Google club.
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Shortly after that, CEO Brian Armstrong appeared in Forbes‘ ’40 under 40’ – the outlet described his company as “the Google of crypto”.
The firm also announced that it had been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission to purchase three firms, including a licensed foreign exchange broker. Interestingly, it commented after this that the SEC’s approval was not necessary.
On the 22nd, it registered a new political action committee, which is an entity used in the US to legally raise money for a political cause. A few days later, it announced the completion of an internal probe concerning accusations of insider trading last year. It concluded that no action needs to be taken. Meanwhile, a class action lawsuit against the exchange is in process.