Leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has recently announced it hired regulation veteran Jeff Horowitz as its new chief compliance officer, presumably in a bid to navigate regulations to become the crypto world’s first licensed broker-dealer.
According to the company’s blog post, Horowitz was managing director and global head of compliance at Pershing, a subsidiary of one of the largest providers of brokerage custody in the world, BNY Melon. Before that, he worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, as well as at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Horowitz’ roles reportedly saw him work to manage anti-money laundering and other compliance programs. Passing through the Financial Industry Regulations Authority (FINRA) and through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the San Francisco-based exchange’s new chief compliance officer worked to “shape regulation and industry best practices.”
Asiff Hirji, Coinbase’s president and chief operating officer, wrote:
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. Adding Jeff to our team is one more important step along this journey.
The announcement comes shortly after Coinbase revealed it was considering adding five new cryptocurrencies, and after an investigation found there was no insider trading going on before it listed Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
As CryptoGlobe covered, Coinbase has increasingly been moving to accommodate institutional investors as it has been launching several institutional grade products and services, including Coinbase Custody, Coinbase Institutional Coverage Group, Coinbase Prime and Coinbase Markets.
The San Francisco-based company has also recently established a political action committee (PAC), an organization formed to raise funds on behalf of candidates running for public office. Its move follows various acquisitions, including that of a regulated broker-dealer.
Despite its moves Coinbase has been seeing its popularity decline among retail investors. As reported, its users withdrew 37% more than they deposited in April of this year, as every dollar deposited was countered by $1.37 withdrawn. The crypto market decline saw its traffic decline significantly.
Institutional investors have been taking a risk-averse approach to cryptocurrencies, by watching them on the sidelines due to their volatility and lack of institutional grade products. Recently, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected a Bitcoin ETF application filed by the Winklevoss twins.