Crypto Hiring: Former JPMorgan executive appointed as head of trading at crypto firm GSR

Elsewhere, Coinbase added a former UK finance minister and Polygon Labs made cuts

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GSR, a firm specialized in cryptocurrency trading and market making, made a splashy hiring move this week when it brought in JPMorgan executive Andreas Koukorinis to be its new head of trading. 

Koukorinis is no stranger to the cryptocurrency world. Before becoming JPMorgan’s global head of credit and electronic trading for fixed income and commodities ETFs, he ventured into the crypto space by founding a sports betting startup. This venture caught the attention of Blockchain.com, which acquired the company in 2018.

It is becoming increasingly common for professionals to transition from traditional banking to the cryptocurrency industry. Last week, crypto exchange Bitget said a third of its applicants came from the traditional banking sector. The most common reasons for making the switch were better pay and the sector’s innovativeness, Bitget said.

Read more: Crypto hiring: TradFi hires join former Genesis exec at VersiFi

Asked about his trading strategy, Koukorinis hinted at an interest in blue-chip cryptos. 

“GSR has had a lot of success in altcoins. One of the first things we’ll be looking at is how we can build on this success and develop the same capabilities in the majors,” Koukorinis said. 

Coinbase adds former UK finance minister to advisory council

Former UK chancellor George Osborne became the latest addition to Coinbase’s global advisory council this week. 

Osborne handled the UK’s financial and economic policies from 2010 until 2016. He joins a bipartisan group of mostly-American political and national security figures that Coinbase previously said would help the exchange “examine what consequences will result from regulatory uncertainty for crypto in the United States.”

Among these regulatory uncertainties is Coinbase’s ongoing spat with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which alleges some tokens listed by Coinbase were unregistered securities.

Read more: US judge questions SEC limits during Coinbase hearing 

Other notable hiring news

  • Polygon Labs cut 60 staff, or 19% of the company, in a move it insists was not due to a financial shortfall.
  • Bitmain founder and apparent crypto billionaire Jihan Wu will become CEO of bitcoin mining company Bitdeer on March 1. 
  • University of Pennsylvania Wharton School professor Kevin Werbach said he is looking to hire a postdoctoral researcher to study “legal, ethical and policy issues related to blockchain (including Web3, DeFi, digital assets and DAOs), as well as potentially responsible artificial intelligence, and how the two areas may come together.”
  • Steve Christie became deputy chief compliance officer at Binance.

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