PayPal-Backed Blockchain Analytics Firm Hires Former US Treasury Adviser

TRM Labs, a blockchain analytics firm with backing from PayPal, is adding Ari Redbord as its head of legal and government affairs.

AccessTimeIconOct 26, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:12 a.m. UTC

Blockchain analytics firm TRM Labs has appointed former U.S. Treasury and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) heavyweight Ari Redbord to help build the firm’s risk-based anti-money laundering (AML) programs for cryptocurrency and digital assets.

Redbord joins TRM Labs as the company’s head of legal and government affairs. At Treasury, he served as a senior adviser to the under secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. His resume also includes stints at FinCEN and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), in areas related to cryptocurrency. 

  • Why MoonPay and PayPal Partnered to Expand Crypto Adoption in the U.S.
    14:12
    Why MoonPay and PayPal Partnered to Expand Crypto Adoption in the U.S.
  • How PayPal, Visa and BlackRock View Crypto in 2023
    02:41
    How PayPal, Visa and BlackRock View Crypto in 2023
  • What a New U.S. Consumer Watchdog Proposal Could Mean for Crypto Payments
    01:15
    What a New U.S. Consumer Watchdog Proposal Could Mean for Crypto Payments
  • PayPal Facing SEC Subpoena Linked to Stablecoin Could Be a 'Power Grab,' Former Paxos Exec Says
    10:57
    PayPal Facing SEC Subpoena Linked to Stablecoin Could Be a 'Power Grab,' Former Paxos Exec Says
  • Blockchain analytics is a hot space with the likes of Chainalysis tying up with law enforcement, Elliptic forensically following illicit money around the crypto ecosystem and CipherTrace building "travel rule" solutions and monitoring crypto compliance regimes. 

    So does the hire of Redbord mean TRM Labs is positioning itself alongside government crime-fighting agencies and law enforcement? 

    “I don’t think the focus will just be on the long arm of the law,” said Redbord. “Actually, I think in a way it’s quite the opposite, because a company like TRM allows for less regulation, quite frankly, by allowing governments around the world to be more comfortable that they are able to identify suspicious activity and get those bad actors out of this.”

    The analytics firm’s data insights can be applied evenly to three different segments, said Esteban Castaño, TRM’s co-founder and CEO. Those are government organizations, including regulatory and law enforcement, cryptocurrency businesses and traditional financial institutions that may not custody crypto directly, but are exposed to the cryptocurrency risk, he said.

    “It maybe goes against traditional startup wisdom to serve different types of customers, but we can deliver insights around the risk of an individual address and individual transaction or a cryptocurrency business as a whole,” said Castaño.

    Founded in 2018, TRM is backed by PayPal, Initialized Capital, Blockchain Capital and Y Combinator. 

    Castaño would not be drawn on the possibility of providing data insights to PayPal, but said he was “thrilled” by the fintech giant’s recent crypto announcement and “eager to see their journey.”

    TRM Labs co-founders Esteban Castaño and Rahul Raina
    TRM Labs co-founders Esteban Castaño and Rahul Raina

    Disclosure

    Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.