Coinbase's head of trading is out after six months

The Block can confirm an earlier report by CoinDesk that Coinbase's head of trading, Hunter Merghart, has parted ways with the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange.

Sources familiar with the situation told The Block that the former Barclays director left the firm after just six months. He was charged with building out aspects of Coinbase's institutional business, exploring over-the-counter trading and execution services. Merghart's exit closely follows Adam White leaving the firm. The Block first reported that White, the former head of Coinbase's institutional exchange business, is set to join Bakkt as its chief-operating officer, reporting to its CEO. Coinbase had plans to hire over hire 100 staff to cover its institutional business in New York. A source familiar with the business said Merghart left because that unit's business plan wasn't clear. The Block first reported it shut its index fund business.

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Merghart declined to comment about his future plans. He also declined to comment on whether he'd join Bakkt, the crypto trading unit of Intercontinental Exchange. Merghart previously held positions at RBC Capital Markets and Credit Suisse. 

Reporting by Frank Chaparro. If you have a tip, reach out to [email protected]

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Frank Chaparro is the Editor At Large at The Block. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. He runs his own podcast The Scoop and writes a biweekly eponymous newsletter. He leads special projects, including The Block's flagship podcast, The Scoop. Prior to The Block, he held roles at Business Insider, NPR, and Nasdaq. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].