Coinbase exec leaving to lead marketing and sales at Fidelity Digital Assets

Quick Take

  • Christine Sandler is leaving her post as head of institutional sales at Coinbase after a year in the role
  • The former NYSE exec is moving to a similar role at Fidelity Digital Assets, geared at targeting Wall Street 

Another Coinbase exec has surrendered to the company's divide over institutional uptake.

Christine Sandler will be leaving her role at the firm to join Fidelity to play a key role in its crypto custody business as head of marketing and sales, sources confirmed.

She joins other Wall Street veterans whose time at Coinbase has come to a prompt end, including Adam White, who moved to Bakkt, and Jonathan Kellner, whose planned venture at Coinbase was axed before it started.
 
The leading US crypto exchange, once valued at $8 billion, has made no secret that it is moving away from its institutional efforts amid price fears, to concentrate on crypto native funds. The firm confirmed at the start of the year that it was halting its 2018 goal to build out a full-scale Wall Street-grade prime broker.
 
Sandler was brought on in April 2018 as part of their hiring spree from Wall Street, aiming to “bridge the gap between financial services and technology.”

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However, industry sources say the mission she was brought on to do no longer exists.
 
“It’s been clear for the last few months that Coinbase is focusing on crypto native firms and funds, and Sandler's experience is simply not in that realm. Her strength is in traditional markets, and East coast equity, which is not where Coinbase are anymore," said one source.
 
A Coinbase spokesperson confirmed Sandler was leaving the firm.

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About Author

Isabel is The Block's London and European reporter. She previously reported for Reuters in Madrid and London, following on from her time as a freelance journalist for the Guardian and the New York Times. She has a Bachelors in War Studies from King’s College London and a Master of Philosophy from the University of Oxford. Conflict of Interest: Edward Woodford, the CEO of SeedCX, is Isabel's brother. She does not report on any issues related to Seed or advise other authors in any regard.