Cryptocurrencies, blockchain, NFT and new trends

Coinbase Canada head, Algorand CFO highlight March crypto hires, exits and moves 

Companies • April 7, 2023, 2:08PM EDT Published 45 minutes earlier on

Quick Take

  • Crypto firms strengthened their C-level and advisory teams in March.
  • Many companies announced new hires, included Algorand, Coinbase and Ava Labs.

Stay updated on Pro Crypto Ecosystems news by locking ACS tokens with The Block.

Connect/Create Wallet You can unlock at any time.*
No wallet? No problem. You can set one up for free. We recommend Torus for first-time users.
*a 2% locking fee will be added at the time of locking. Learn more about Access Protocol

Crypto companies hired several high-level executives in March, more than the previous month, as the market rebounded. Big names, including Coinbase, Immutable and Anchorage Digital Bank, each added leadership roles to their teams.

Some crypto firms turned their attention to non-U.S. markets for growth, largely due to the increasing regulatory scrutiny and uncertainty in the U.S. Coinbase hired a country director in Canada. Avalanche developer Ava Labs hired heads of business in South Korea and Japan. 


  1. Layer 1 blockchain developer Algorand hired Matthew Commons as its first chief financial officer.

  2. Coinbase hired Lucas Matheson as country director in Canada. He joined the crypto exchange after spending over five years at Shopify.

  3. Crypto infrastructure provider Zero Hash hired Cyril Mathew as its new president and chief operating officer. Mathew previously led business development teams at Stripe and Coinbase.

  4. Zero Hash also hired Araba Eshun as U.K. head of compliance and MLRO (money laundering reporting officer) and deputy head of international compliance. Eshun joined the company from Gemini, where she was its U.K. head of compliance. 

  5. Pixelcraft Studios, the web3 gaming studio behind the popular NFT gaming protocol Aavegotchi, hired Jason Slama as its new Game Director. Slama has had stints at Ubisoft and CD Projekt Red.

  6. Ava Labs, the main developer behind blockchain project Avalanche, hired Justin Kim, a former investment banker at the Korea Development Bank, and startup veteran Roi Hirata as the heads of its business in South Korea and Japan, respectively. 

  7. Brazilian crypto-friendly bank Nubank appointed David Marcus to its board of directors. Marcus is the CEO and co-founder of Lightspark, a startup focused on building infrastructure for the Lightning Network. He previously led all payments and crypto efforts at Meta (formerly Facebook).

  8. Web3 investment firm CoinFund hired Julie Mossler as its head of marketing and communications. Mossler most recently served as chief marketing officer (CMO) at Metaplex, a Solana-based NFT infrastructure protocol.

  9. CoinFund also hired Jenna Pilgrim as head of portfolio growth.

  10. Decentralized cybersecurity protocol Naoris hired David Holtzman as chief strategy officer. Holtzman is the former IBM chief scientist and designer of the global DNS System used by ICANN. 

  11. Crypto investment firm Decasonic hired Danny Pantuso and Lauren Tierney as venture investors in its Chicago office.  

  12. Brian Brooks, former acting Comptroller of the Currency and former chief legal officer at Coinbase, joined the board of the HBAR Foundation, the organization helping drive the adoption of the Hedera network. Brooks also had brief stints as CEO at both Binance US and Bitfury.

  13. Square Enix, the web3-friendly Tokyo-based video game giant behind popular franchises such as Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, said Takashi Kiryu would replace Yosuke Matsuda as the company’s president and representative director, pending shareholder approval. Matsuda will retire from the company. 

  14.  Hashed co-founder Alex Shin and veteran hedge fund investor Sandeep Ramesh are set to join Mysten Labs CEO Evan Cheng’s new venture fund as general partners.

  15. Web3 Foundation, whose flagship project is the Polkadot blockchain protocol, hired Thomas Fecker Boxler as CFO and member of the executive management team. Boxler joined from the Swiss VC fund Serpentine Ventures AG, where he was COO.

  16. Web3 gaming company Immutable hired David Bicknell as CFO and Devon Ferreira as CMO. The Australia-based company also promoted its senior vice president Jason Suen to chief commercial officer.  

  17. Leslie Lamb, formerly CMO at Coinflex, joined OPNX as its CEO. OPNX is co-founded by Lamb’s husband, Mark Lamb, along with disgraced Three Arrows Capital founders Su Zhu and Kyle Davies.

  18. Elad Gil (former VP at Twitter), Akash Garg (former CTO of Moonpay), and Rebecca Rettig (chief policy officer at Polygon) joined Electric Capital as advisors to support crypto founders.

  19. Casey Lewis, a former senior editor at New York Magazine, joined crypto investment firm Seven Seven Six as its head of content and communications.

  20. Cameron Dickie, former head of EMEA sales at B2C2, joined Nomura’s Laser Digital as head of distribution in Dubai.

  21. The Stellar Development Foundation hired Asiff Hirji, president of MoonPay, to its board of directors. 

  22. Binance Australia CEO Leigh Travers stepped down from his role. Ben Rose, general manager of Binance New Zealand, replaced Travers.  

  23. Crypto infrastructure firm PolySign hired Charles “Chuck” Ocheret as its new CTO. Ocheret has presented on Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) and Cryptocurrencies in Financial Services to the United States House Committee on Agriculture and has served on the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Technical Advisory Committee (CFTC TAC). He has also served on the CFTC TAC Subcommittee on DLT and Market Infrastructure.

  24. Matthias Bauer-Langgartner, formerly managing director of U.K. and Ireland at crypto broker Bitpanda, joined the European Central Bank as senior supervisor focusing on crypto assets and DLT.

  25. Rahul Kothari, formerly of Reddit’s crypto team, joined Aztec Network, a startup focused on privacy for transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, as a software engineer.

  26. Samantha Bohbot, former vice president and head of growth at Digital Currency Group, joined crypto investment firm Rockaway X as chief growth officer and investor.

  27. Roshun Patel, former vice president at Genesis, joined Hack VC as a partner. 

  28. Alchemy Pay added Andy Ng to its management and advisory board. Ng previously held the position of senior vice president at Lazada and served as chief product officer for innovative products at Grab.

  29. Alchemy Pay also hired former White House senior advisor David Plouffe as its global strategic advisor.

  30. Komainu, the crypto custody joint venture of Nomura, Ledger and CoinShares, hired added three members to its leadership team. Pippa Wiskin joined the firm as head of marketing, Evelien van den Arend as head of compliance and regulation and Kalifa Figaro as head of finance.

  31. Blockchain analytics firm TRM Labs appointed Chris Brummer as a senior advisor to the company’s leadership team. Brummer is the Agnes Williams Sesquicentennial Professor of Financial Technology and Faculty Director of the Institute of International Economic Law, where he has been teaching since 2009. He is the founder of DC Fintech Week, a global public policy conference on finance and technology. He is also an advisor to the Digital Dollar Project and the Alliance for Innovative Regulation, and a visiting fellow at the Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center.

  32. TRM Labs named its head of legal and government affairs Ari Redbord as Vice Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC’s) Technology Advisory Committee. 

  33. TON Foundation, a non-profit association of developers that exists to advance The Open Network (TON), hired Anthony Tsivarev as director of developer relations. Tsivarev previously served as a senior partner at First Stage Labs, a TON ecosystem venture builder.

  34. Anchorage Digital Bank appointed Julie L. Williams, former First Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief Counsel and twice Acting Comptroller of the Currency at the OCC, as a new member of its board of directors.

  35. Shaun Heng, former head of Spartan Labs, joined Hustle Fund as a venture partner.

  36. The DeFi Education Fund (DEF) hired Michael Mosier of Espresso Systems and Arktouros for its steering committee. He’s expected to contribute to DEF’s “mission of advancing informed appreciation for democratization, resilience, and accessibility of the financial system.” 

  37. Meta re-hired a veteran manager Nick Grudin to oversee its relationships with media companies and other creators, seven months after Grudin quit to join Dapper Labs, an NFT startup.


  38. Yoann Caujolle, managing director of funds investments at Bpifrance, left the French sovereign fund. Caujolle founded Rockby, an independent European secondary investment firm providing liquidity solutions for tech portfolios.

  39. Teresa Cascino, a policy analyst at the Bank of England, left to join Citi as its Digital Asset Risk Management Regulatory Lead within their Enterprise Risk Management Department.

  40. Crypto venture fund A&T Capital‘s founding partner Yu Jun reportedly resigned after sexual harassment allegations against him emerged online. A&T is said to have started an investigation into Yu’s behavior in the workplace.  

  41. Tal Broda, vice president of engineering at crypto investment firm Paradigm, reportedly left the company. Before joining Paradigm, Broda was head of platform at Citadel Securities, managing large engineering teams. 

  42. XanPool, a Hong Kong-based crypto-to-fiat gateway infrastructure provider, reportedly laid off around 40 people while closing its offices in Singapore and Malaysia.

    Internal moves

  43. Decentralized music platform Audius named Shamal Ranasinghe as chief business officer. Ranasinghe was an advisor to the company for several years and previously worked as an executive at Sirius XM/Pandora. 

  44. Crypto investment firm Multicoin Capital promoted two members of its investment team — Spencer Applebaum and Shayon Sengupta — to investment partners.

  45. Japanese crypto exchange BitFlyer‘s board reportedly reappointed co-founder Yuzo Kano as CEO. Kano, who owns 40% of BitFlyer, stepped aside from the top role in 2019 after a regulatory crackdown.

  46. Justin Schmidt, the former head of digital asset markets at Goldman Sachs, joined the decentralized investment platform Ondo Finance. Schmidt has been an investor and adviser to Ondo since the beginning of the platform. 

  47. The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) appointed Therese Chambers, the watchdog’s director of consumer investments, and Steve Smart, the National Crime Agency’s director of intelligence, as joint Executive Directors of Enforcement and Market Oversight.

  48. DCG-owned crypto exchange Luno promoted its top two executives. Luno CEO Marcus Swanepoel took on a new role as executive chairman, and COO James Lanigan was promoted to CEO.

Open roles

  • The European Banking Authority is hiring crypto-skilled staff as it seeks to prepare for its duties under the European Union’s forthcoming Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation.

  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is hiring “student trainees” for its business and legal programs. 

  • Banking giant Goldman Sachs is said to be open to hiring additional employees in its digital asset group, which currently has about 70 people.

  • Nomura’s crypto unit Laser Digital is hiring a strategy lead to help develop the firm’s strategic roadmap and articulate it into executable business plans. 

  • S&P Global is seeking a DeFi director to “enable the successful build-out and execution of a DeFi team strategy.”

  • Crypto trading and lending firm Genesis is hiring a Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) Lead to develop and refine the firm’s policies, standards and procedures alongside the security risk management program.

  • Gaming giant Pokemon is hiring a web3 corporate development principal with deep knowledge and understanding of blockchain technologies, NFTs and the metaverse.