Latest in Crypto Hiring: Hedge Fund Makes Hires, FTX Adds While Rivals Cut

Binance and FTX pledge to continue growing after other industry companies pause hiring and lay off staffers


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key takeaways

  • BKCoin makes three hires, including poaching a former Coinbase executive
  • Crypto-focused RIA taps ex-Celsius Network pro as chief operating officer

Market-neutral crypto hedge fund firm BKCoin Capital hired Paul Magahis as president, Adriano Caloiaro as chief technology officer and Leanna Haakons as director of business development and investor relations.

Magahis is set to join the investment committee and oversee BKCoin’s corporate strategy, fundraising and operations. He most recently worked as Coinbase’s head of capital strategy, and before that was the global co-head of capital introduction at StoneX Group.

Caloiaro joins from enterprise talent acquisition software provider Greenhouse Software, while Haakons previously co-founded financial marketing and consulting firm Black Hawk Financial in 2014. 

Crypto-focused registered investment advisor Khelp Financial appointed Steve Goeke as chief operating officer and Paul Lang as head of portfolio construction and risk.

Goeke was working at Truist Securities as a director in the firm’s capital markets group and helped corporate clients manage interest rate, foreign exchange and commodity markets risk. He has also held roles in derivatives, foreign exchange and credit at Regions Capital Markets and JPMorgan. 

Lang joins from Celsius Network, where he focused on coin allocation and risk-managed strategies. Before that, he worked as a macro-focused portfolio manager at UBS.

Ethereum scaling platform Polygon has hired Bhumika Srivastava as its new global head of human relations. 

The new executive was formerly the head of human relations at Airbnb. Srivastava’s other previous experiences with major Web2 brands, such as Snapdeal, Adobe and Yahoo, will be crucial in supporting Polygon’s growth, the company said in a statement.

In an interview with Blockworks, Sanket Shah, Polygon’s head of strategy said the company will continue hiring.

“We are not letting the bearish landscape deter us from fostering growth. It makes sense to continue growing our teams in a sustainable manner, for both the short and long term, so we can build a Web3 platform that is ready for the future.” 

Ryu Games named Rick Ellis as chief product officer, as the hire came alongside the company’s beta launch of Flame, a new Web3 games store and marketplace seeking to better serve the PC gaming market with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies.

Ellis, who founded video game digital distribution service Steam, will tap his experience in console, PC and mobile gaming development to drive the growth of Web3 in gaming, the company said in a statement.

Investment firm CoinFund has hired Margaret Gabriel as head of talent, a role in which she will work to find talent for CoinFund itself but also for its portfolio companies to help them strategically invest in and grow their own teams. Gabriel is an alumna of Google and Gemini.

In case you missed it, Grayscale Investments hired former US Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. as a senior legal strategist. The hire comes as the crypto-focused asset manager is trying to convert its beleaguered bitcoin trust to an ETF, a proposal the SEC is expected to rule on next month.

Before working as solicitor general from 2011 to 2016, Verrilli served as deputy counsel to President Barack Obama and was an associate deputy attorney general in the US Department of Justice.

Crypto drawdown’s impact on hiring?

Despite crypto companies such as Coinbase and Gemini revealing plans last week to slow hiring or make cuts, other firms continue to expand.

Crypto exchange Binance, for example, is currently hiring more than 500 employees globally across departments, a spokesperson told Blockworks, adding cooler markets offer the best opportunity to invest in or acquire great projects for less money. 

“Our business strategy was to position Binance for sustained growth over the next decade through multiple market downturns or even a prolonged multi-year declining market,” the spokesperson said. 

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tweeted Monday that the crypto exchange would “keep pushing forward” on its hiring efforts, despite the downturn. 

“More will be joining than leaving, though — as always — we’ll make sure to add people at a sustainable rate,” he said.

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