Crypto trade group taps hedge fund legal chief as first CEO

ADAM, a cryptocurrency trade group, has brought on its first chief executive as it aims to evangelize its code of conduct to participants in the market.

The group — made of trading firms, brokers, and investors — announced Thursday that it hired Jeffrey Blockinger, a former legal chief from the hedge fund world, to strengthen ADAM's position in the market. Blockinger previously served as the chief legal officer of Och-Ziff Capital Management, a multi-state hedge fund that manages more than $30 billion in assets. He left the company in 2014. 

Och-Ziff is notable in the hedge fund space given that it trades publicly. Blockinger played a role in developing the firm's regulatory reporting and governance ahead of its initial public offering in 2007, according to a press release from ADAM.

ADAM members include BitGo, BlockFi, Galaxy Digital and Genesis Global Trading. In total, ADAM counts 15 members among its ranks. 

In November, ADAM drafted a wide-ranging code of conduct for cryptocurrency market participants, spanning principles for token sales, fund managers, token platforms, and know-your-customer approaches.

"The digital asset industry has reached a historic inflection point as cryptocurrencies, digital securities and other digital innovations transform the financial markets," Blockinger said in a press statement. "ADAM plays a leading role in paving the way for continued growth and acceptance by traditional financial market participants."

"I look forward to expanding our leadership role in shaping the future of the digital assets markets by building consensus for the entire industry," he added. 

According to a spokesperson for GSR, an ADAM founding member, the group plans to expand its membership base further and "build consensus between various stakeholders in the digital asset ecosystem."