Crypto hiring: Grayscale brings on new managing director ahead of ETF decision

Plus, Argo Blockchain and Bastion hire senior executives and crypto job applications stay muted

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Artwork by Crystal Le

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Crypto asset manager Grayscale hired John Hoffman to be its managing director and head of distribution and partnerships. 

Hoffman spent the past several years at Invesco, where he most recently headed up the firm’s ETFs and Indexed Strategies division in the Americas. 

Hoffman joins the firm as some speculate that resolution in Grayscale’s yearslong attempt to offer a spot bitcoin ETF could come soon after the new year

Grayscale is one of several firms promising to offer a spot bitcoin ETF pending regulatory approval but is uniquely positioned in that its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust already holds $23 million assets under management.

Read more: Grayscale sees positive catalysts on the horizon for bitcoin

The traditional finance hire is par for the course at crypto-focused Grayscale. CEO Michael Sonnenshein was an analyst at J.P. Morgan before joining the firm a decade ago, and David LaValle, global head of ETFs, has Nasdaq and indexing firm Alerian on his resume.

In a Grayscale Q&A announcing his joining the company, Hoffman said he first bought bitcoin via Coinbase in 2013 but has been “emotionally invested in its innovation for much longer.”

New faces in the C-suite

Argo Blockchain and Bastion both tapped senior executives this week.

The crypto mining firm Argo named Thomas Chippas CEO. Chippas’ lengthy resume includes stints as CEO at CBOE Digital and Citadel Technology and managing director at Citigroup and Barclays. 

Caroline Friedman left her post as chief of staff at a16z Crypto to become chief operating officer of Bastion. Friedman joins the startup founded by fellow Andreessen alums and focused on easing the onboarding of businesses into crypto custody and trading.

Other notable hiring news

  • Applications for crypto jobs are “only mildly picking up this year” especially compared to the increase in applications as the market took off in 2021, Raman Sha from Crypto Jobs List said.
  • Former Coinbase chief compliance officer Mike Lempres joined the board of directors at MoonPay.
  • Ben Caselin became chief marketing officer of South African crypto trading platform VALR. Caselin was most recently chief strategy officer at MaskEX.

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