Coinbase hires former SEC Director Brett Redfearn

On Tuesday, Coinbase announced, as what they call another milestone for the company, the hiring of Brett Redfearn as its VP of Product, Capital Markets. In his new role, the former US Securities and Exchange Commission’s Director of its trading and markets division, will report to Coinbase Chief Product Officer, Surojit Chatterjee who himself made the announcement on The Coinbase Blog:

“Reporting to me, he will be responsible for defining and driving a vision and strategy to set the global standard for crypto capital markets, including digital asset securities and our crypto trading platform,” Chatterjee wrote.

Coinbase is only a few weeks away from their public listing and is in quite an uncertain regulatory environment in Washington, DC, and around the world. And knowing that government regulation is imminent, the industry players need all the help they can get, especially from those who used to be in government to safeguard their position.

At Coinbase, Redfearn is likely to play a key role in helping the company navigate the SEC that many in the industry feel has been hostile to crypto in the past.

Redfearn’s hiring is not the first of someone with a background of a federal agency. Until just recently, for example, the company’s former head legal officer, Brian Brooks was head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

When asked about some lessons learned during his time at the SEC, Redfearn answered:

“Unfortunately, my initial experience with initial coin offerings tokens was primarily through Enforcement cases. Many early token innovators did not realize that they were actually creating securities that were subject to a significant set of regulatory requirements. This happened all too often during the ICO rush of 2017. I also witnessed efforts to build marketplaces for digital assets, including securities, some of which were more attuned to regulatory obligations than others. Nonetheless, through it all, I appreciated the significant potential in this space if issuers, markets, and market participants could appropriately navigate the regulatory landscape. And that is something I can help make happen. Working hand-in-hand with the outstanding engineers at Coinbase and innovators in the new crypto economy, I intend to help build a market ecosystem that creates new efficiencies and democratizes the investment process while being 100% compliant with our securities laws.”

Prior to his time at the SEC, Redfearn spent 13 years at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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