Coinbase’ Institutional Head Departs Amid Bid to Become Institutional Go-To

Adam White did not comment on his departure from Coinbase. The company is confidently moving ahead.

Coinbase’s Adam White, the company’s fifth-ever employee and head of the company’s institutional platform group, has decided to leave the company. The decision was reported by Bloomberg on Thursday, October 4.

White’s decision comes at a crucial moment in Coinbase’s efforts to become the go-to platform for institutional investors. The company has been taking large strides toward the institutional investment sphere this year with the launch of a custody service and an index fund. Coinbase’ native exchange, GDAX, was rebranded to ‘Coinbase Pro’ earlier this year.

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A company spokesman 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.”

Coinbase also announced that former Instinet CEO Jonathan Kellner, who joined the company as the managing director of its institutional business earlier this week, will take over much of White’s duties.

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White’s Departure Could Signify the Continuation of a New Era for Coinbase

White’s departure could signal part of a permanent culture change for Coinbase. Indeed, White began his time at the company when it was still being run out of a single apartment and Bitcoin was trading for just $200.

Now, Coinbase is one of the largest and most famous crypto exchange companies in the world, with a multi-billion dollar valuation and millions of users. While White played a large part in bringing Coinbase onto the global scene as a platform for institutional investors, his presence was a reminder of the DIY, cypherpunk environment out of which that cryptocurrency was born.

Signifying further entwinement with the world of institutional investing, Coinbase welcomed former Charles Schwab executive Chris Dodds onto its board of directors earlier this week.

Over the past year, Coinbase has poached quite a bit of talent from Wall Street and has significantly expanded its staff. In the past quarter alone, Coinbase added a Chief Legal Officer, and Chief Compliance Officer, a VP of Engineering, a VP of Data, and a Head of Learning and Development.

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