Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto, a former COO of a NASDAQ subsidiary, will develop Gemini’s marketplace to attract institutional investors.
The U.S.-based Gemini, launched by the Winklevoss twins back in 2015, has hired Hightower-Sellitto as a managing director of operations to lead its client services team. As per the release, she spent 13 years as a chief operating officer at the International Securities Exchange, transforming the startup into a major exchange purchased by NASDAQ in 2016 for $1.1 billion.
According to financial magazine Banking & Finance Review, Gemini expects Hightower-Sellitto to develop its marketplace along with enhancing the crypto exchange experience for institutional investors.
Hightower-Sellitto is not the first high-ranked Wall Street professional hired by Gemini. As Cointelegraph wrote in June, former chief information officer at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Robert Cornish joined the crypto exchange’s team to control tech initiatives and to monitor the deployment of Nasdaq’s SMARTS Market Surveillance technology.
Other Wall Street execs have also recently joined various crypto-related projects.
For instance, former Goldman Sachs executive director Priyanka Lilaramani joined the Maltese crypto startup HOLD, the head of Central Europe at Fujitsu Dr. Rolf Werner moved to blockchain non-profit IOTA Foundation, and crypto exchange Coinbase hired former PayPal and Facebook executive David Marcus to be among its directors.
Gemini, ranked as world’s 49th largest crypto exchange by CoinMarketCap, last month got approval from New York regulators to launch their own U.S.-backed stablecoin, Gemini dollar. Shortly after the move, the Winklevoss brothers reportedly started to hire advisors to oversee its potential expansion to the U.K.
Stock brokerage EF Hutton continues its cryptocurrency foray by pledging to issue its own products to attract investment.
The latest in a series of crypto-related announcements this month, the company’s parent organization HUTN said it would begin offering “multiple instruments, coins and tokens” which would “generate proceeds of at least $60 million.”
The move comes the same week as EF Hutton confirmed it was the major sponsor of a new U.S. cryptocurrency exchange known as ACEx, which also plans to start operating next January along with issuing its own token.
“Proceeds will be used to fund marketing, technology and to redeem debt and for general corporate expenses,” the release explains about the asset issuance plans.
“We know ICOs succeed when they present powerful use cases that improve their holders utility with the peer-to-peer functionality of blockchain’s technology,” HUTN CEO Christopher Daniels commented on the most recent announcements:
“Consequently, we are confident that ICO buyers will eagerly seek to hold the coins and tokens we are issuing.”
Whitepapers for the forthcoming tokens are promised this autumn, promising a “use case” for each instrument on offer. As yet, no specific information is available about the offering.
HUTN has already hired an advisor with a history of helping companies engage in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to the tune of $290 million, it continues, adding it now “has special insight and experience in the cryptocurrency market.”
The company has already attempted to back those claims, Cointelegraph reported September 7, as in embarked on a cryptocurrency research project to assist investors “confused” about the industry.
Two former JPMorgan blockchain executives have announced their own blockchain-based startup, currently in the process of fundraising.
The Two former leads of JPMorgan’s blockchain program unveiled a new startup, a decentralized app (DApp) store, Fortune reported yesterday, May 14.
Amber Baldet and Patrick Mylund Nielsen, both of whom held lead positions at JP Morgan’s blockchain platform Quorum, have announced the release of a new startup, Clovyr, where users can browse decentralized apps, developer programs, and distributed ledgers. Clovyr will be compatible with Quorum as well as Ethereum software clients Parity and Geth, with plans to add more in the future.
Baldet left JPMorgan in the beginning of April, with as-of-then unannounced plans to start her own company. She tells Fortune that the state of blockchain currently can be compared to the beginning of the use of public clouds – at first businesses built their own, only later changing to public clouds as security improved: “the conversation on the enterprise side right now feels a little bit like that.”
Clovyr is currently in the fundraising stage, but will not be holding an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) – Sorry, there’s no ICO,” says Baldet, but adding that Clovyr will help companies convert fiat into crypto if needed.
A multitude of Wall Street executives have recently been leaving their traditional financial jobs for the blockchain and crypto sphere. One former Goldman Sachs exec joined crypto wallet Blockchain.com in mid-April, while another reportedly left to join Mike Novogratz’s digital merchant crypto bank as COO.
Yesterday, May 14, Cointelegraph reported that the CFO of Australia’s Commonwealth Bank left the bank to become COO of blockchain software firm Block.one.
Major US crypto wallet and exchange service Coinbase has announced it is launching a series of new products aimed at drawing in major institutional capital.
The four products – Coinbase Custody, Coinbase Markets, The Coinbase Institutional Coverage Group and Coinbase Prime – all focus on alleviating major concerns that have allegedly caused institutional investors to hold back from entering the cryptocurrency space so far, such as security and regulatory compliance.
Adam White, Coinbase vice president and general manager, was confident in telling CNBC that:
“We think this can unlock $10 billion of institutional investor money sitting on the sideline. We’re seeing a rapid increase in attention awareness and adoption in the cryptocurrency market.”
Coinbase Custody, first announced last year in an official Coinbase blog post, addresses the “number one” concern of institutional investors, namely, security. The company explains that the custody solution for digital assets will secure clients’ funds through rigorous financial controls such as multi signatory protection, audit trails, and withdrawal limits.
Although the company reportedly already stores over $20 bln worth of clients’ crypto, according to CNBC, Coinbase Custody will be established in partnership with a third party auditor, reported to be an SEC-compliant independent broker-dealer.
Coinbase Markets, meanwhile, will be a Chicago-run electronic marketplace that provides a centralized pool of liquidity for all investors, and aims to offer settlement and clearing services in future, according to Coinbase’s announcement today. In addition, Coinbase Prime will be an separate trading platform for institutional clients.
Coinbase currently has over 20 mln customers and has already traded $150 bln in digital assets on its crypto exchange platform, according to CNBC. In 2017, it reported $1 bln in revenue, according to figures from Recode, with $225 million in VC funding from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures and the New York Stock Exchange. It reportedly valued itself at around $8 bln in an acquisition deal this spring.
This month, New York Stock Exchange owner ICE announced its own plans to settle crypto swap contracts in BTC, suggesting it too has come up with an SEC-compliant custody solution for institutional holders. ICE’s announcement came just days after investment banking giant Goldman Sachs said it would be opening a crypto trading desk “within weeks.” With custody and regulatory obstacles seemingly out of the way, many have predicted that a “mature” crypto market will indeed inevitably draw major institutional investment into the space.