Former Coinbase VP Adam White to Join Bakkt As Chief Operating Officer

Adam White, former Vice President and General Manager at Coinbase, will find a home at Bakkt, according to unnamed sources speaking to TheBlock.

White will become Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Bakkt, the new New York Stock Exchange-connected cryptocurrency platform, just as they prepare to launch the first physically-settled, U.S. government-regulated Bitcoin futures available on the market.

Many have asserted that Bakkt’s launch will obviate the need for a hotly anticipated -- but not necessarily loved by all -- Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF). The effect of making bitcoin legally and abundantly available to the institutional financial world is a huge unknown, but is potentially enormous.

Different Backgrounds

The news of White’s departure from Coinbase came only last week. White had been with the company since its inception in 2013, being one of its first five employees. Bloomberg reported that new hire Jonathan Kellner, late of fintech stalwart Instinet, would take over most of White’s previous duties at Coinbase.

According to Berkshire Hathaway’s Business Wire, Instinet, a subsidiary of giant Japanese holding company Nomura, is “an electronic trading pioneer, having established the world’s first significant electronic trading venue in 1969”. The company deploys “innovative electronic trading products” to offer fast, low-cost trading, in addition to conducting independent market research for customers.

Although White was already an accomplished figure upon joining Coinbase in 2013, he had very little experience in the world of fintech and had only just finished his MBA at Harvard.

Kellner’s record is strikingly different. He spent eleven years at Instinet, four as CEO and six as president, and prior to that held “several senior trading and technology positions” at Charles Schwab and Morgan Stanley. Kellner therefore brings to Coinbase substantial experience in traditional finance, and in the origins of fintech..

Coinbase has had a notable lack of success in attracting the sort of institutional attention it had expected earlier this year - and the contrast between White and Kellner perhaps indicates Coinbase’s desire to court traditional finance more effectively.

FBI Arrests Russian Rapper for Crypto Laundering After Flaunting Wealth on Instagram

  • The FBI arrested Russian rapper Maxim Boyko on charges related to cryptocurrency laundering.
  • Authorities say Boyko, who has ties to now-defunct exchange BTC-e, was flaunting "substantial" sums of money on social media.

The Federal Burea of Investigation (FBI) has arrested a Russian rapper in the United States on charges of cryptocurrency laundering. 

According to a report by The Moscow Times, authorities arrested Maxim Boyko, 29, in a Miami condo on Friday. Boyko first came to the US with his wife and January and told customs agents his earnings came from bitcoin investments and rental properties in Russa. Boyko also operated several social media pages promoting himself as a rap artist under the alias Plinoffiical. 

The report claims Boyko’s Instagram page showed him flashing large sums of money, giving authorities a tip-off. 

In a request for an arrest warrant on Mar. 27, an FBI agent wrote, 

[Boyko’s] Instagram social media and Apple iCloud accounts include photographs of him with substantial sums of U.S. and foreign currencies dating back as far as 2015.

Authorities were able to trace the Russian rapper’s iCloud account to now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e. According to the report, Boyko’s account had received almost $388,000 and withdrawn 136 bitcoin until the exchange was seized by authorities in mid-2017. 

The FBI alleges that Boyko is linked to an organized crime group by the name QQAAZZ which has facilitated the theft of “tens of millions of dollars.”

Boyko faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. 

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