Why Did Kraken Hire a Top Executive of a Competitor Crypto Exchange?

Kraken has announced the recruitment of a senior executive from the rival global cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, as part of its initiative to stay abreast of the continually evolving regulations in the crypto space.

CEO of Kraken, David Ripley, clarified that Marcus Hughes held the position of Managing Director for Coinbase’s European business and served as the General Counsel for its international operations.

Kraken Recruits Former Coinbase Executive

In a recent statement, Ripley highlighted Hughes’ extensive experience not only at Coinbase but also in the investment banking sector, highlighting his suitability to navigate the regulatory landscape in the crypto industry, as the new global head of regulatory strategy:

“With nearly a decade of traditional finance experience at Morgan Stanley before that, he is well positioned to drive our regulatory strategy and expansion efforts around the globe.”

Read more: 11 Best Altcoin Exchanges for Crypto Trading in January 2024

Moreover, he points out that regulatory changes are unfolding rapidly, and the exchange must be ready for any additional regulations that are expected to be clarified in the United States following this year’s November election.

“As a global player we need to adapt to changes in regulation across the markets we operate in while ensuring we are efficient and effective when building out our footprint to best serve our clients.”

Additionally, the exchange revealed that it has hired Gilles BianRosa as Chief Operating and Product Officer. Similarly to Hughes, BianRosa has TradFi experience working at European Neobank N26.

Gilles BianRosa (Left) and Marcus Hughes (Right). Source: Kraken
Gilles BianRosa (Left) and Marcus Hughes (Right). Source: Kraken

Coinbase and Other Exchanges Receive Warning from US Senator

This occurs amidst controversy surrounding crypto exchanges hiring former government officials, purportedly aiming to influence favorable crypto regulations. Critics label these crypto firms as a “revolving door” of ex-government officials in the US.

Read more: Top 7 Crypto Exchanges With the Lowest Spreads in 2023

Meanwhile, in December 2023, BeInCrypto reported that Warren discouraged the hiring of former government officials for crypto advocacy in their push for regulations in a letter to the Blockchain Association.

“I write regarding a troubling new report that your association and other crypto interests are “flexing a not-so secret weapon: a small army of former defense, national security and law enforcement officials” to work on your behalf.”

However, Warren states it shows a gap in the nation’s ethics laws. Former officials transitioning to lobbying roles immediately after public service undermines the public’s confidence in government integrity.

Senator Warren urges for more transparency and accountability in the industry.


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