Coinbase and NYSE: A Not-So-Hidden Relationship

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Over the last several years, Coinbase has received large investments from the NYSE. Coinbase also continues to hire former NYSE executives. Furthermore, the operator of the NYSE, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), is planning to release a cryptocurrency trading platform — and five-year Coinbase veteran Adam White has been hired as its COO.



In January 2015, Coinbase hosted Series C of venture capitalist (VC) fundraising. USD($)75 million was raised from various entities including the NYSE. Two and a half years later, another $100 million was raised. The NYSE was an investor in this series of investments as well.

In addition, Coinbase has hired a number of former executives from the NYSE. The most recent NYSE executive hired by Coinbase was Peter Elkins. On July 5, 2018, Elkins was hired to help build the “Coinbase Trade Surveillance Program.” His current title at Coinbase is “Trade Surveillance Manager.” Previously, he worked in various executive positions for the NYSE.

Four months earlier, Eric Scro was hired as Coinbase’s vice president of finance. He is a nine-year veteran for the NYSE.

In addition, Christine Sandler was hired as Coinbase’s director of institutional sales in 2014. Prior to this, she worked as the global head of sales for the NYSE Euronext desk.



In Sep 2018, Coinbase announced plans to expand the number of employees in its New York office. 150 new staff members are expected to be acquired throughout 2019. Coinbase is targetting the NYSE and other Wall Street financial institutions such as Barclays, J.P. Morgan, and Citigroup in its search for staff.

 

ICE currently is developing Bakkt as a cryptocurrency futures trading platform. Adam White was hired as the Chief Operating Officer of Bakkt. Prior to this, White was the Vice President and General Manager of Coinbase.

Bakkt was to be released on Oct 23, 2018 — but was delayed until Jan 24, 2019. Its release may be postponed a second time as a result of the US government’s partial shutdown.

The NYSE has invested in Coinbase — investing in at least two of five rounds of VC fundraising. A number of former NYSE executives are now working at Coinbase. Lastly, a five-year veteran at Coinbase, Adam White, has been hired as Bakkt’s as its COO.

[bctt tweet=”In short, Coinbase has been receiving heavy support from the NYSE over the last several years.” username=”beincrypto”]

Involvement by centralized financial institutions like the NYSE runs counter to the philosophy of decentralized cryptocurrencies presented by Satoshi Nakamoto. Blockchain technology was developed to free individuals from centralized financial institutions, but with major cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase openly and publicly acting against this basic credo, this possibility becomes limited.

Is it time to dump Coinbase for good and seek out cryptocurrency exchanges that embrace the theory of decentralization put forward when Bitcoin was first announced? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 

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Alexander Fred writes for BeInCrypto where he completes technical analyses of various alt-coins and qualitative commentary and analysis about various cryptoassets and their potential for social integration.

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