Crypto Custody Firm BitGo Hires Ex-Genesis Exec Matthew Ballensweig to Lead Go Network

Ballensweig, who was also co-head of trading and lending at Genesis, will head up BitGo's newly launched platform.

AccessTimeIconAug 3, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. UTC

Cryptocurrency custody specialist BitGo has hired Matthew Ballensweig, the former managing director of Genesis who stepped down in September of last year amid a cascade of collapsing crypto firms.

Ballensweig, who was also co-head of trading and lending at Genesis, will head up BitGo's newly launched Go Network, designed to allow hedge funds and other institutions to access trading liquidity at various exchanges without their assets ever leaving regulated custody.

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  • Genesis saw an exodus of staff, including the firm’s CEO Michael Moro, in the wake of crypto blow-ups last year of firms such as Three Arrows Capital and FTX. Genesis later filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2023. (Genesis is owned by Digital Currency Group, which is also the owner of CoinDesk.)

    The Go Network, which went live earlier this year, so far includes trading venues Bitstamp, Gate.io, INX and Enclave Markets, with dozens more exchanges, market makers and hedge funds in talks to join, said Ballensweig, who is managing the onboarding of firms.

    The network also offers instant USD to crypto settlement where assets are exchanged without one party having to go first. Given the loss of networks such as the settlement system built by Silvergate Bank, Go provides the “bone-structure” for the next generation of institutional crypto trading, Ballensweig said.

    “This next era of institutional adoption has to be done via a tech-focused mindset first; you can't just throw a balance sheet at it,” Ballensweig said in an interview with CoinDesk. “When I heard [BitGo CEO] Mike Belshe’s vision for this, it was precisely how I would have designed this next institutional trading phase, with the separation of custody and trading and settlement.”

    Edited by Nelson Wang.

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    Ian Allison

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


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