Chris Giancarlo, the former top U.S. commodities regulator who pivoted to digital currency projects after leaving Washington, joined BlockFi’s board of directors Tuesday.
The man known as “Crypto Dad” to the industry is now the first independent (non-equity holding) director on BlockFi's five-person board. That's an important distinction: Private companies look to strengthen their corporate boardrooms with independent voices before gearing up for a public debut.
BlockFi would not comment on its public plans beyond stating that the board expansion will ensure a "public-market ready governance structure."
BlockFi’s addition of Giancarlo signals it is seriously considering a pivot to the public markets in the wake of Coinbase's direct listing last week. It also underscores the high demand for regulatory veterans within the crypto industry. Just today, Binance.US snagged former acting OCC chief Brian Brooks as its new CEO.
Giancarlo will help the lending giant “broaden its footprint” in the digital assets space, according to a company statement. BlockFi is already a major crypto lender with $10 billion lent across its client base of over 225,000.
The former regulator has been leveraging his pro-crypto stint at the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) into advisory gigs and board seats since leaving the department in April 2019.
Giancarlo is now the fifth member of BlockFi’s board, a company spokesperson told CoinDesk. He has not previously worked with BlockFi but is said to know the company well through his other ventures in the crypto space.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.