Another Exec. Leaves Crypto Exchange Coinbase; Christine Sandler Joins Fidelity Investments
Christine Sandler is a well-known presence in the crypto space, working as the director of institutional sales for Coinbase. Well, until now.
There are multiple industry sources that are now confirming the departure of Sandler from Coinbase, but that hardly means she is out of the game. Instead, those sources are indicating that that Sandler has chosen to join the forces of Fidelity Investments.
Sandler has been in the financial space for quite a long time, holding down an executive role for multiple institutions, including NYSE Euronext and Barclays Investment Bank. She did not join Coinbase until March last year, giving a helpful perspective to the institutional sales division.
So far, there are not any leads on exactly what division in Fidelity that Sandler will be participating in, but the most likely place she would be assigned is to Fidelity Digital Assets (FDAS).
FDAS is a service for institutional investors that deals with brokerage and custody. Some people believe that the purpose of her departure from Coinbase had to do with the change in direction that the platform took in their institutional business.
The source for CoinDesk said that it became obvious that Coinbase was more interested in dealing with cryptocurrency, along with hedge funds that were entirely native to cryptocurrency as well. Adam White, a former executive for Coinbase, was originally added to the team when Coinbase was more concerned about the institutional investors they wanted to bring in, which Sandler has experience in.
White ended up leaving Coinbase in October, taking on a position as chief operating officer of Bakkt. Hunter Merghart, which is the former head of trading for Coinbase that White hired, also left the company in October. At this point, the only comments that Coinbase has made about Sandler’s departure were that it happened. Fidelity, the supposed new place of work for Sandler, has not provided any comments, and CoinDesk has been unable to reach Sandler.
The creation of Fidelity’s crypto trading and storage platform firm was first announced in October 2018, though it took until this year to officially launch and start bringing in clients. Right now, there’s bitcoin services available, though other cryptocurrencies could come in the upcoming months.
President Tom Jessop of Fidelity Digital Assets had previously spoken with CoinDesk, saying that the firm was working on the framework they needed to check on different cryptocurrencies. As a result, the company will be reviewing various listings, based on their market caps. However, Jessop commented that Ethereum is not likely to be added, due to the upgrade protocols presently implemented for the platform.
There has already been many clients onboarded for FDAS, but it is possible that the addition of Sandler will urge more institutional investors to participate, following the goals that Jessop has for the company.