BlockFi’s First Independent Director, Former CFTC Chair Chris Giancarlo, Quits Board After Just 4 Months


Former chief US commodities regulator Christopher Giancarlo has made an exit from the board of directors of crypto lending firm BlockFi after four months, the company said on Wednesday.

“We appreciate the wisdom that Chris has imparted in his formal capacity as a Board member,” said Zac Prince, CEO, and Founder of BlockFi.

Giancarlo has been replaced by Ellen-Blair Chube, a managing director at William Blair, but he will continue to provide strategic counsel to the firm in an advisory role.

“BlockFi is an institution that is critical to the broader crypto ecosystem. I’m looking forward to continuing to advise this impressive group of leaders as they work to bridge the worlds of traditional finance and blockchain technology,” said Giancarlo in a statement.

The reason why Giancarlo has resigned from his position in BlockFi wasn’t shared by the company. He was the first independent director of BlockFi's board.

During his tenure as chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Giancarlo was known as ‘Crypto Dad’ for his crypto-friendly views. He has also co-founded the Digital Dollar project.

Great Turmoil

BlockFi has been going through a turbulent past few months as it faced an onslaught of legal issues. As we reported, multiple US states issued a warning against the company's flagship BlockFi Interest Accounts (BIA), alleging they were unregistered securities.

The company stopped onboarded new accounts in the states and warned that it could be forced to do so “worldwide” if its New Jersey case isn’t resolved, whose thrice-delayed cease-and-desist order takes effect at the end of the month.

The firm is also planning to go public as soon as 2022 after a potential $500 million Series E funding round at a roughly $5 billion valuation. Reportedly, lead investor Third Point LLC has pulled out following its ongoing fight with regulators.

Amidst this, yet again, BlockFi slashed the rates on crypto holdings for the fourth time this year. Starting Sept. 1st, rates and tiers are changed for Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Chainlink (LINK), PAX Gold (PAXG), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Uniswap (UNI), and Stablecoins (BUSD, DAI, GUSD, PAX, USDC, and USDT) holdings in the BlockFi Interest Account (BIA).

“Tier 1 rates for all cryptocurrencies are increasing. By our estimates, close to 75% of clients will see an increase in their APY,” noted the company, which said the rates are set based on “market dynamics for lending and borrowing.”

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