Ex-SEC Director Brett Redfearn Leaves Coinbase After 4 Months

The departure of Coinbase's VP of capital markets points to a strategy shift within the publicly traded crypto exchange.

AccessTimeIconAug 9, 2021 at 6:35 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:37 p.m. UTC

Coinbase VP of Capital Markets Brett Redfearn is out after just four months on the job, a Coinbase spokesperson told CoinDesk. The Wall Street Journal was first to report the news of the former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) official leaving the company at the end of July.

The rift points to a strategy shift within the publicly traded crypto exchange, unnamed sources told the paper, with Coinbase deciding to "shift its priorities away from digital-asset securities," the report said.

A source with knowledge of the situation told CoinDesk the priority shift reflected growing consumer demand for access to decentralized finance (DeFi). “As we looked at prioritizing DeFi, we deprioritized the digital-asset securities area,” the source said.

The reportedly "amicable" split with Redfearn comes as actions in Washington and beyond cast doubt on whether tokenized stocks comply with current regulatory frameworks. Binance, in particular, has been hit hard for its securities product, abruptly discontinuing the product in mid-July.

Redfearn's hire was announced March 30, just weeks before Coinbase went public in a hotly anticipated debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

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