Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has hired former Circle Compliance Officer Blair Halliday as chief compliance officer and money laundering reporting officer for the U.K. and Europe, the company announced Tuesday.
Halliday will report to Gemini’s managing director of U.K. and Europe, Julian Sawyer, and will work closely with the firm’s New York City-based chief compliance officer, Noah Perlman, who was formerly global head of financial crimes at Morgan Stanley.
The move comes as ramped-up regulations go into effect with the European Union’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5), which requires crypto firms to demonstrate compliance with enhanced know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) procedures.
Halliday’s first project will be ensuring Gemini’s risk management practices are in place as the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority reviews its e-money license application, Sawyer said.
“At the moment, our customers in the U.K. have to send money to the U.S. as a wire transfer,” Sawyer said. “An e-money license would allow them to deposit local currency without foreign exchange [costs].”
At Circle, Halliday was chief compliance officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Before that, he was executive director of financial crime and compliance at fintech startup CashFlows and chief compliance officer at the International Currency Exchange. He began his career at the Royal Bank of Scotland, where he spent 14 years in financial crime–related roles.