Gemini Hires Former Wall Street Exec to Head Operations

Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has scored a big hire from the conventional finance world with the announcement of Jeanine Hightower-Selitto as the company’s new managing director of operations as it continues its efforts to expand its market share following a recent series of important decisions and hires.

Hightower-Selitto’s Profile and Background

Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto is the former Chief Operating Officer at International Securities Exchange, which she joined at its infancy as a relationship manager in 2004, helping to build it into a big exchange that was then acquired by NASDAQ.

She brings a wealth of experience in Wall Street customer relationship management which will be particularly important to Gemini as it attempts to transition into a new phase of growth with the recent launch of its own USD-pegged stablecoin and a rumoured expansion into the UK. Hightower-Selitto becomes the latest Wall Street personality to make the jump from traditional finance to Gemini following July’s capture of former NYSE Chief Information Officer Robert Cornish, who is now Gemini’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Task at Gemini

At Gemini, Hightower-Selitto’s responsibilities will cover the firm’s numerous business lines, according to a person familiar with the matter. Her main focus will be on improving the firm’s capacity and strategy for handling institutional investment, which is Gemini’s real target in the crypto exchange space.

Despite Gemini’s large media presence due to the publicity afforded by its founders - the Winkelvoss twins - Gemini currently commands less than one percent of the total crypto exchange trading market, per data from TradingView. It also has a substantially more cautious strategy than its bigger rivals such as  Kraken and Coinbase, with only three assets listed on its platform.
Hightower-Sellitto is expected to oversee initiatives such as formulating client-specific customer service teams to better serve asset managers and hedge funds trading on the exchange. At the moment, customer service personnel cover a wide-range of clients, spanning retail brokerage, asset management, and hedge fund clients, to name a few.

Leveraging on her experience from the securities world, she will also explore things such as building out market-data capabilities and ways to appraise trade execution.

Grayscale Study: 43% of Investors Interested in Bitcoin are Women

  • A study published by crypto investment firm Grayscale shows 43% of investors interested in bitcoin are female.
  • Men and women hold similar perceptions on the potential and future of cryptoassets.

A new study by Grayscale suggests that the industry of bitcoin and crypto may not be as male-dominated as previously believed. 

According to a report published by the crypto investment firm Grayscale, 43% of investors interested in bitcoin are women. The study involved 1,100 U.S.-based participants between the ages of 25 and 64 currently active in personal investing with at least $10,000 in investible assets and a $50,000 household income. 

The survey found that women and men share “similar perceptions” on bitcoin, particularly in the investment age range of 25 - 54. While many of the qualities of bitcoin resonate with both men and women, the study found the two groups invest differently. 

According to the report "women are generally less optimistic about investments and more risk-averse.” Almost identical percentages of men and women (56.4% vs 56.2%) see significant growth opportunities in digital assets, with 49.8% of women and 49.9% of men commenting that bitcoin’s finite supply will drive demand price higher. 

Women also commented that more education on crypto-assets would lead to a greater interest, More women than men indicated that they lack familiarity with Bitcoin (76% vs. 52%) and significantly, an overwhelming majority of female investors (93%) indicated that they could be more open to the asset class if they had more educational resources available to them.

After finding 43 percent of those interested in bitcoin to be female, Grayscale concluded,

Bitcoin conversations tend to focus on a predominantly male investor audience, and yet data indicates women have a healthy interest in Bitcoin as well.

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