Silvergate loses C-suite, PayPal gains new CEO amid stablecoin effort

Grayscale is also looking to bolster its ETF team

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The wind down of ill-fated, once-crypto friendly Silvergate Bank continued this week. 

CEO Alan Lane and chief legal officer John Bonino left their positions effective Aug. 15, and the chief financial officer, Antonio Martino, will depart by Sept. 30. 

All three men will receive severance packages, according to a US Security and Exchange Commission filing on Tuesday.

Kathleen Fraher, who has been the chief risk officer at Silvergate for over 17 years, will lead the bank through its liquidation process in Lane’s stead as chief transition officer. 

Silvergate had a reputation for being a bank that serviced crypto clients as far back as 2013, however problems began to emerge by early 2023. 

The bank lost $1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022, in part due to it being forced to sell assets off at a major loss in order to redeem around $8 billion in customer withdrawals. 

As this situation spiraled, Silvergate cut 200 positions in January 2023, amounting to 40% of its workforce. 

In March, it all became too much to bear. Silvergate announced its intent to liquidate the bank just days after shuttering its exchange network, SEN.

By May, there were approximately 80 employees remaining at Silvergate to help with the liquidation, a fraction of the 400 people that worked there as of 2022, according to Pitchbook 

PayPal gets a new chief executive

Alex Chriss will become PayPal’s new president and CEO on Sept. 27, 2023, the company announced on Monday.

Chriss’s hiring puts him in a unique position, where he’ll ultimately helm PayPal’s rollout of its dollar backed stablecoin.

PYUSD, PayPal’s stablecoin, is built on Ethereum and is entering a competitive field, with giants like Tether and Circle being the top dogs as of now. 

Chriss hasn’t been vocal on crypto as of yet, so there simply isn’t much to go on in terms of his views. Blockworks reached out to PayPal. 

Intuit, the fintech giant behind brands like TurboTax, Credit Karma and Mailchimp, had previously been Chriss’s home for nearly two decades. He’s served in a variety of roles there and is departing as an executive vice president and general manager of Intuit’s small business and self-employed group.

Chriss will replace Dan Schulman, who’s held the top job at PayPal since 2014. 

Other notable hires

  • Grayscale is hiring a Senior Associate for its ETF team, at a time when the race to a spot bitcoin ETF is heating up.
  • In a reposted listing on LinkedIn, Coinbase is searching for a “Market Regulation Investigator” who’ll be investigating trade violations on its derivatives exchange in a bid to comply with CFTC regulations.
  • Thomas Übermeier is joining IOHK, the company behind Cardano, as head of software engineering on the team building data protection blockchain Midnight.

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