Circle has parted ways with its head of trading Dan Matuszewski who led one of the largest OTC desks in crypto markets that handled last year alone over $24 billion in volume.
Matuszewski is reportedly leaving the blockchain startup, which is partially backed by Goldman Sachs, after more than two years to pursue a new entrepreneurial opportunity in the crypto industry.
The firm announced that Nick Gustafson, the former chief of Kraken’s over-the-counter trading shop, will be leading Circle Trade, taking over much of Matuszewski’s coverage.
Nick Gustafson is a former senior vice president at the investment bank Jefferies, and also served as a director at UBS. Prior to that, the University of Virginia graduate has held positions in credit trading at JPMorgan and Macquarie.
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Matuszewski’s exit comes at a pivotal time for Circle as it seeks to lock in large institutional clients while expanding outside the highly regulated realm of US crypto industry. Most recently, it launched and licensed a new subsidiary in Bermuda.
Daniel Matuszewski joined Circle back in 2017 to take over its trading division, following the departure of former treasury and trading operations chief Joshua Lim. Prior to working at Circle Daniel was a trader at Bay Hill Capital, a small hedge fund south of Boston.
Different crypto-focused verticals
While Matuszewski reportedly declined to comment on his departure, he said in an internal memo seen by Coindesk: “Circle Trade was born mostly out of accident. Initially tasked with providing liquidity for our retail bitcoin payments app, our presence in the market grew to a scale where we began to provide liquidity to a whole array of counterparties outside our own internal needs.”
The move comes as Circle has expanded into a wide range of crypto-related business, including Circle Invest, which enables purchases of 11 different coins and Circle Trade, an OTC marketplace that handles turnover of more than $2 billion each month.
Circle also owns crypto exchange Poloniex, which trades over 100 cryptocurrencies, and most recently announced the acquisition of SeedInvest, an alternative trading system licensed under FINRA. There are rumors that Circle will apply for a banking license too.