Former SEC director Brett Redfearn leaves Coinbase after four months

Brett Redfearn, a luminary of the market structure world and former director at the Securities and Exchange Commission, has left his post at Coinbase after only four months with the cryptocurrency exchange.

The exit, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, was confirmed to The Block by a Coinbase spokeswoman. Coinbase announced in March that it hired Redfearn as its capital markets head. Redfearn left Coinbase in July.

"We appreciate his contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavors," a spokesman told The Block in an emailed statement. 

Redfearn spent 3 years at the SEC between 2017 and 2020, leading the division that oversaw brokers and exchanges. Prior to joining the SEC, Redfearn held senior trading posts at JPMorgan and Bear Stearns. 

The Journal's report said that Redfearn left the firm after the exchange decided it would "shift its priorities away from digital-asset securities." A Coinbase spokesman said that the exchange is instead prioritizing decentralized finance.

At present, Coinbase lists only cryptocurrencies that it views as being non-securities. In 2018, the firm acquired broker-dealer Keystone Capital in a bid to potentially trade blockchain-based securities. It has yet to launch a service or product in that arena.