Coinbase Snags Former SEC Director Brett Redfearn Ahead of Public Listing

Recent regulatory developments "are paving the way for greater opportunities for the crypto economy," he said.

AccessTimeIconMar 30, 2021 at 5:31 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:33 p.m. UTC

Crypto exchange Coinbase has hired former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) official Brett Redfearn as the new vice president of its capital markets division.

Redfearn, who previously ran the SEC's Division of Trading and Markets and left public service late last year, will oversee exchange operations, brokerage and custody services at Coinbase, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In a blog post welcoming the new hire, Coinbase Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee wrote that Redfearn "will be responsible for defining and driving a vision and strategy to set the global standard for crypto capital markets, including digital asset securities and our crypto trading platform."

Redfearn noted in the blog post that much of his initial exposure to the crypto industry came via enforcement actions against initial coin offerings.

"Nonetheless, through it all, I appreciated the significant potential in this space if issuers, markets, and market participants could appropriately navigate the regulatory landscape. And that is something I can help make happen," he said in the blog post.

Recent regulatory developments at the SEC as well as at other U.S. regulators such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency "are paving the way for greater opportunities for the crypto economy," he said.

The hire comes as Coinbase prepares to go public through a direct listing on Nasdaq in the coming weeks. The exchange's Form S-1 and amended versions were published earlier this year, showing the company generated a net income of over $300 million in 2020, up from a $30 million loss in 2019. It's expected to see a valuation upward of $100 billion when the shares go public.

Former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton also joined a crypto firm recently after being named to the advisory board of investment firm One River Management.

UPDATE (March 30, 2021, 18:00 UTC): Updated with comments from a Coinbase announcement; corrects that Coinbase generated over $300 million in net income in 2020.

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