Latest in Crypto Hiring: 21Shares Taps Ex-Uber Exec to Lead Product Roadmap

Former marketing executive at OKcoin and Microsoft joins new crypto exchange


Blockworks exclusive art by axel rangel


key takeaways

  • Former Commerzbank exec joins crypto financial services provider
  • A crypto venture capital firm nabs a former Facebook veteran as its GameFi lead

21Shares hired former Uber executive Karan Chawla as its vice president of product. 

Chawla was most recently Uber’s head of payments in the US, Canada and Asia-Pacific region. He will focus on the firm’s product roadmap to offer investors access to DeFi protocols and will seek to further drive institutional adoption of digital assets.

As the world’s largest issuer of cryptocurrency ETPs, the company has roughly $2.5 billion in assets under management. It recently launched a product in Switzerland combining gold and bitcoin exposure and is set to launch the first bitcoin and ether ETPs (exchange-traded products) in Australia.  

Crypto exchange OKX appointed former Okcoin executive Haider Rafique as its chief marketing officer.

Rafique was a special adviser to the OKX executive team earlier this year and helped drive a multimillion-dollar partnership agreement with Manchester City. In his new role, he will build a global marketing team to make crypto mainstream and lead the company’s international expansion efforts.

The executive most recently was chief marketing officer for crypto exchange Okcoin. Before that, he was head of growth for and was a head of product marketing at Microsoft.

Phil Davis is Web3 infrastructure company ConsenSys’s new chief financial officer after serving in that role for seven years at artificial intelligence company Afiniti.

His appointment follows ConsenSys’s $450 million Series D round last month, which valued the company at $7 billion.

Davis will oversee the company’s finance and accounting functions, including expanding its treasury strategy. ConsenSys has maintained a significant treasury of ETH, stablecoins and other crypto tokens and puts these assets to work in DeFi (decentralized finance) protocols and through staking.

Babel Finance appointed Yang Song to the newly created position of head of treasury as the company seeks to serve a more diverse set of clients.

The hire comes as the crypto financial services provider, which had a $3 billion outstanding loan balance at the end of the year, created a treasury unit to boost risk management and ensure sufficient liquidity for its lending business.

Song joins Babel Finance after working for 12 years at German bank Commerzbank, where he served as vice president of treasury.

Crypto venture capital firm Fundamental Labs is adding former Facebook veteran Vinayak Rao as its GameFi lead as more Web2 gaming companies enter the Web3 world.

He will focus on supporting founders through investments and resources across the Web3 and blockchain gaming ecosystem.

Prior to Rao’s latest appointment, he led Facebook’s gaming product partnerships team. He also launched Rival Peak, a reality television show simulated entirely within a game engine — a platform that enables games to be playable on top of video content.

CoinList hired Michael Coates and Amir Kavousian to lead the company’s digital asset services division. 

Coates is a former Twitter chief information security officer and head of security for Mozilla, while Kavousian previously worked as a data science lead at Capital One.

The appointments come as part of CoinList’s acquisition of cloud security company Altitude Networks, for which Coates was CEO and Kavousian was chief technology officer.

Cross-exchange digital asset trading network Apifiny named Diana Pires as its chief revenue officer as it continues recruiting talent ahead of its planned merger with Abri SPAC Inc. 

Pires previously worked for S&P Global before transitioning to OKX. She then became a senior vice president at, where she built out its institutional pipeline and drove business development.

“My experience has provided insight into the gap in the rapidly developing digital asset trading ecosystem,” Pires said in a statement. “I’ve been impressed with how Apifiny has pinpointed the issue of fragmented liquidity, faced today by exchanges, traders and new blockchain token projects.”

Quadrata, a Web3 identity passport network bringing financial services to DeFi, tapped several industry leaders as company advisers.

The new Quadrata advisers include Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association; David Kravitz, senior director of research at Spring Labs; Don Ho, executive director of Quantstamp Technologies; Tony Sheng, founder of Cozy Finance; and Sebastien Borget, co-founder and chief operating officer of Sandbox. 

In case you missed it, former JPMorgan Managing Director Christine Moy is also set to join Apollo Global Management to lead its digital asset strategy.

Moy will help the alternative asset manager, which controls roughly $500 billion, invest further in innovative digital asset companies and founders.

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