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Blockchain.com Hires Deutsche Bank Executive as First Compliance Chief

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Blockchain.com Inc., which provides a variety of cryptocurrency services to individual investors and institutional clients, has hired its first chief compliance officer as it looks to keep up with rapid growth while developing legal frameworks for its business.

CJ

Rinaldi,

who most recently was the head of markets compliance in the Americas for broker-dealer Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., began working for London-based Blockchain.com as its global CCO in October. Based in Connecticut, Mr. Rinaldi joins the company’s growing compliance team of 60 people. He reports to

Lindsey Haswell,

the company’s chief legal officer.

CJ Rinaldi, chief compliance officer at Blockchain.com.



Photo:

Blockchain.com Inc.

In his new role, Mr. Rinaldi oversees the compliance issues related to onboarding clients as well as ensuring the company follows anti-money-laundering rules and sanctions laws.

The hire comes as the cryptocurrency startup, founded in 2011, continues to expand globally as more people find ways to buy, sell and trade crypto. The company said it has $1.5 billion in revenue year-to-date for 2021 and a $5.2 billion valuation.

The company’s business has gotten to the point where it is “more than appropriate” to have someone of Mr. Rinaldi’s caliber and experience, said Ms. Haswell, who joined the crypto firm six months ago.

Mr. Rinaldi brings more than 30 years of regulatory compliance experience to Blockchain.com, the company said. He served as a senior counsel in the enforcement division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission between 1991 and 1997, and has held leadership roles at financial institutions, including UBS Investment Bank and hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, helping some of the organizations implement requirements from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and working with regulators.

Blockchain.com said Mr. Rinaldi’s background would help the company work with regulators world-wide to set up legal frameworks for its cryptocurrency business. Ms. Haswell said the company is looking to double its compliance head count in the near future. The company has about 270 employees overall world-wide.

“The lack of clarity on the regulatory framework [for cryptocurrency] is the biggest challenge today,” Ms. Haswell said. She added that Blockchain.com’s leadership, including its chief executive and board, are all pushing for a predictable regulatory landscape and want to be “trusted partners” with regulators.

“We want clear rules of engagement,” she said. “Hopefully we will have that in the next six to 10 months in the U.S. at least.”

Blockchain.com’s CCO is the latest example of crypto firms ramping up hiring in their compliance departments as they come under increasing regulatory scrutiny in the U.S. and world-wide. The Biden administration this week took the first significant step to impose banklike oversight on the cryptocurrency companies involved in the issuance of stablecoins, outlining a process that could shape the future of that digital money. SEC Chairman

Gary Gensler

this week also said that he believes the crypto market wouldn’t mature without regulatory oversight.

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Write to Mengqi Sun at mengqi.sun@wsj.com

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