3 Senior Executives Jump From Crypto Lender BlockFi: Sources

The firm is being bought by Sam Bankman-Fried's crypto exchange FTX.

AccessTimeIconSep 8, 2022 at 1:38 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:46 p.m. UTC
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Three senior executives are said to be leaving embattled cryptocurrency lender BlockFi, as the firm irons out a deal to be acquired by FTX.US, the U.S. division of the crypto exchange owned by billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried.

Exiting the firm are David Olsson, global head of institutional distribution; Samia Bayou, global head of private client investors; and Shane O’Callaghan, senior director of institutional sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa, sources told CoinDesk.

BlockFi, which was caught up in a cascade of failing crypto companies earlier this year, escaped bankruptcy court, where crypto lender Celsius Network and crypto broker Voyager Digital have ended up – but at the cost of agreeing to hard-nosed acquisition terms set out by Bankman-Fried.

BlockFi was valued in the billions last year, but FTX now has the option to buy the company for $240 million, although the actual price could be even lower because of certain strings attached to the deal.

“I think they’ve chosen to leave because of disagreements about the future direction of the company and loss of equity,” a source familiar with the situation said. “Everyone lost their equity, or had it significantly reduced and reset.”

Olsson and O’Callaghan declined to comment. Bayou didn't respond to requests for comment

BlockFi didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

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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 offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Ian Allison

Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.


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