Coinbase VP Of Capital Markets Resigns Due to A Strategy Disagreement: Report


Brett Redfearn, a former director at the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) who joined crypto exchange Coinbase earlier this year, has resigned.

Redfearn left the exchange after only four months on the job, per a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Redfearn Resigns Due To Strategy Shift

According to the report, Redfearn resigned as the head of Coinbase’s capital markets due to a strategy disagreement within the publicly traded exchange. The executive was hired in March, some few weeks before the exchange went public.

Sources familiar with the rift claim his departure was caused by the crypto exchange shifting its priorities away from digital asset securities. The exchange is reportedly prioritizing decentralized finance (DeFi) instead.

While at Coinbase, Redfearn was responsible for the exchange’s strategy for crypto capital markets, including digital asset securities. Redfearn is one of a trove of former government officials the US-based crypto exchange hired before its initial public offering in April.

Coinbase also hired a former member of the White House National Security Council, Faryar Shirzad, as the company’s chief policy officer.

Redfearn spent three years serving as the Director of the Division of Trading & Markets at the SEC from 2017 until 2020. He oversaw brokers and exchanges, clearing agencies, and transfer agents. Before joining the SEC, Redfearn held senior trading posts at JPMorgan and Bear Stearns.

Founded in 2012 as a cryptocurrency wallet, Coinbase has grown to become the largest digital exchange for cryptocurrencies in the US and one of the largest in the world. It has a custody arm called Coinbase custody where it provides several institutions with a secure means of keeping their digital assets.

The latest firm to entrust Coinbase Custody with its digital assets is one of the largest telecommunications providers in Europe, Deutsche Telekom AG. The company announced that it would be leveraging Coinbase Custody to hold the firm’s CELO tokens.

The US Continues Crackdown On Exchanges Selling Securities

Redfearn’s departure from Coinbase comes when the SEC is coming down hard on the sale of securities. Fellow crypto exchange Binance has borne the most brunt for its product offering of tokenized stocks.

Ever since Binance introduced its stock token service in April, which enabled customers to buy fractions of shares in companies, the firm has received regulatory backlash.

Binance offered tokenized stocks for companies like Tesla, Coinbase, MicroStrategy, Microsoft, and Apple. However, the exchange recently discontinued the services following regulatory scrutiny.

The SEC also recently revealed that trading platform Poloniex has agreed to pay roughly $10.4 million in fees. Reuters reports that the broker agreed to settle the charges of operating as an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange.

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