22 key crypto hires, exits and moves: October 2022

Quick Take

  • High-level exits continued in October, with at least 10 significant exits.
  • Bitmex, which kicked off layoffs six months ago, announced more departures in October as CEO Alexander Höptner left. 

October marked six months since the beginning of the crypto downturn and five months since the Terra collapse.  

Layoffs began in April with Bitmex, and the firm announced further layoffs this week following the departure of its CEO. 

With fresh rounds of job cuts underway, The Block compiled a roundup of job losses in crypto since April here.  

Hires  

  • Former Argo Chief Technology Officer Perry Hothi was the latest new hire at Jack Dorsey's Block, as it hopes to establish its bitcoin and wallet operations. 
  • Aaron Iovine, former Celsius executive, landed a new job as executive director for digital assets regulatory policy at JPMorgan. Iovine spent eight months at the bankrupt cryptocurrency lender from February to September this year. 
  • Strix Leviathan, a quant crypto hedge fund that leverages algorithmic investment and trading strategies, is announcing that the former CIO of BlackRock's Multi-Strategy Hedge Fund is joining the firm as Head of Strategy. 
  • Coinbase hired German fintech executive Daniel Seifert in October. Seifert came to the firm from Solarisbank and will lead its European expansion. After gaining regulatory approval in the Netherlands last month, Coinbase is seeking approval in France and Spain. 
  • The Financial Conduct Authority, the U.K.'s finance regulator, hired Binu Paul, a former fintech specialist lead from New Zealand's Financial Markets Authority, as its new head of digital assets. 
  • Kraken poached Gemini's Blair Halliday to run its U.K. operations. Halliday has a history of compliance roles and experience in the banking sector, as well as being Gemini's head of the U.K. for almost three years.  
  • dYdX, the derivatives protocol, has tapped Charles d'Haussy as the new chief executive of its foundation. d'Haussy, who previously spent almost four years working at ConsenSys, most recently as global head of business development, was announced as CEO of the foundation on Monday 

Exits   

  • Alexander Höptner vacated his role as CEO of crypto exchange Bitmex with immediate effect on Oct. 25. Höptner joined BitMex in January 2021, spending less than two years with the firm. Stephan Lutz assumed the role of CEO in an interim manner.  
  • Coinbase's Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee left his role on Oct. 28, with the firm announcing his departure on Wednesday. The exchange revealed plans to overhaul its entire product team at the same time, which now reports directly to the CEO 
  • Crypto market-maker GSR laid off under 10% of its staff in October. The firm said it did so to "position the business for long-term growth." Roughly 30 people were laid off as part of the cuts, bringing the company's headcount to 300. 
  • WazirX, the Indian crypto exchange, laid off up to 70 people or 40% of its staff last month. The layoffs occurred two months after Indian authorities began investigating WazirX for alleged money laundering. 
  • Checkout.com, the digital payments platform, let approximately 100 employees go last month, about 5% of its London-based staff. The firm was valued at $40 billion in January and said the layoffs will allow it to focus on "strategic priorities." 
  • Matt Mazzeo, a general partner at tech-focused investment manager Coatue Management, left the firm to start a new investment fund focused on early-stage start-ups on Oct. 3. 
  • Daniel Leon, a bankrupt lender Celsius Network co-founder, resigned on Oct. 4, shortly after Alex Mashinsky left the firm.  
  • FalconX's head of institutional coverage Aya Kantorovich announced her departure on LinkedIn. She has worked at the crypto financial services firm since 2019.  
  • Greenidge Generation, the bitcoin miner, reshuffled its executive ranks as CEO Jeffrey Kirt left. 
  • OpenSea Chief Financial Officer Brian Roberts left the NFT marketplace, staying in an advisory role. He joined Open Sea in December after serving as the CFO for Lyft.   
  • According to four crypto industry sources in Washington, D.C., Celo axed its government relations and lobbying wing on Oct. 26. Celo confirmed that Chris Hayes, who had led the firm's government relations arm, was no longer with the firm. The firm did not comment on broader layoffs. 
  • Bitcoin investment company NYDIG's CEO Robert Gutmann and President Yan Zhao stepped down from their roles on Oct. 3. Both will continue working with NYDIG's parent company Stone Ridge Holdings Group.  

Promotions  

  • NYDIG promoted Tejas Shah and Nate Conrad to the respective roles of CEO and president following Gutmann and Zhao's departures.  

Open roles and hiring ambitions 

  • Fidelity Digital Assets is doubling down on hiring into the new year. The crypto arm of the investment juggernaut is set to make 100 hires within the next three to six months. The news comes as Fidelity makes several new plays in the digital assets space. 

© 2022 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.