Crypto hiring: Terraform Labs gets new CEO, leaves door open for Do Kwon’s return

Coinbase also hired a Biden alum to head up its policy communications

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This week’s hiring news was dominated by two crypto firms mired in controversy: FTX and Terraform Labs.

As the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, Chris Amani will serve as Terraform’s new interim CEO after founder and former chief executive Do Kwon was arrested in Montenegro and his indictment for securities fraud in the US.

The company’s algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD and its crypto token Luna collapsed in May 2022, erasing their collective market cap of about $40 billion and dragging the entire crypto market down with it. Today, the original tokens are worth less than $700 million.

Now, Terraform’s 40 employees, 15 of whom were there prior to the May collapse, are looking to Amani to right the ship as the company continues to explore a revival of the Terra blockchain and community.

Blockworks reported Friday morning that Amani said Kwon is “welcome back.” Even if it takes 10 years, he added.

And a day before the Amani news broke, Bloomberg reported that Constance Wang, who was FTX’s chief operating officer up until the exchange’s implosion, had joined blockchain venture capital firm Sino Global Capital.

Wang was an executive at FTX for nearly five years, also serving as co-chief executive of FTX Digital Markets, which principally operated in the Bahamas. 

Wang also had a brief stint at Huobi Global and before that, she worked at now-defunct bank Credit Suisse as a risk controls analyst.

While she no longer works at an digital assets exchange, her career remains firmly situated in the world of crypto. 

Wang will be leading the gaming team at Sino Global, according to Bloomberg.

Sino Global has already added a number of blockchain-based games to its growing portfolio, including Blocklords, Domi Online and Nyan Heroes.

Following the collapse of Wang’s former employer in November 2022, Sino Global disclosed that it had been an early stage investor in FTX. 

Crypto exchanges make key hiring moves

This week, Bitget revealed a Middle East expansion plan, which involves hiring up to 60 new employees to staff an office in the region. 

On top of being a crucial business decision, Bitget Managing Director Gracy Chen said this move is about moving global blockchain and crypto adoption along. 

“We hope to scale our Middle East team rapidly to support business growth, with between 30 to 60 hires over the next 2 years or more,” Chen said in a statement. “We may consider selecting Dubai as an operational hub for the Middle East market.”

Bitget has been scouting potential employees for the last several months. At the same time, it has expanded into Europe by obtaining virtual asset service provider licenses in both Lithuania and Poland. 

Separately, Coinbase hired Julia Krieger to be its US policy communications lead at a time when the US government is engaged in a legal battle with the crypto exchange.

Krieger appears to be a complete first-timer in the crypto world, having served in a litany of roles in the federal government and on campaigns, including Joe Biden’s presidential bid in 2020.

She had been a senior spokesperson for the Treasury Department since March 2022. Before that, she was the communications director for the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Krieger’s tweet announcing her hiring was met with welcomes from several of her colleagues, including Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal, who recently announced Coinbase’s decision to relist XRP following the decision in the SEC v. Ripple case

Other notable hires

  • Alexander Grieve is joining crypto investment firm Paradigm as its government affairs lead. He comes directly from Tiger Hill Partners and used to be an assistant to former House Speaker John Boehner.
  • Chia Network appointed Effie Datson to its board, who most recently served as Global Head of Family Office for Barclays.
  • NFT platform Magic Eden hired Linus Chung as head of product. Chung had lead product development roles at Coinbase, Tesla and Pinterest. 
  • Kraken subsidiary Crypto Facilities brought on Mark Jennings to serve as CEO.
  • Blockworks reported Thursday that former regulator Brian Brooks is getting a seat on Hashdex’s board of directors.

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