Coinbase has hired a Silicon Valley Dealmaker and a former LinkedIn executive as the cryptocurrency exchange – the largest U.S. Bitcoin exchange and crypto brokerage giant explore a series of value-adding mergers and acquisitions.
Emilie Choi started her first day at Coinbase on Monday as the vice president of corporate and business development. According to a Coinbase post, Choi will be responsible for expanding the company’s globally reach; creating new links, forging new partnerships, top-notch acquisition & merger deals and managing the company’s strategic projects. Choi has overseen over 40+ high-profile acquisitions, including LinkedIn acquisition of Lynda in 2015.
“If you ask anyone in [Silicon] Valley, she is absolutely top of her field in business development,” (…) “Given how rapidly the [cryptocurrency] space is unfolding, given the breadth of opportunities in front of Coinbase, we feel very fortunate having someone like Emilie with us and helping us figure out how to get those deals done.” Asiff Hirji, COO of Coinbase, said during an interview with Fortune. “Emilie is going to be super busy from day one. There are at least half a dozen things she’s going to wade into right away,” Hirji added.
The poaching of Choi from LinkedIn comes barely a week after Goldman Sachs backed fintech startup Circle announced it had completed the details of acquiring the 14th largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world –Poloniex for approximately $400 million.
The wake of the Circle’s acquisition of Poloniex has revealed that Coinbase the dominant crypto exchange and brokerage giant in the U.S. is facing new competition as the digital asset market grows. Circle currently operates a crypto-trading desk (Circle Desk) that handles over $2 billion crypto transactions monthly with a minimum transaction size of $250,000. The fintech blockchain startup plans to launch Circle Invest –a crypto trading product similar to Coinbase’s eponymous brokerage platform.
Tina Bhatnager was the latest executive to join Coinbase as the vice president of operations and technology. Coinbase current market valuation stands at over $1 billion curving its reputation as a cryptocurrency professional financial institution best for Bitcoin investors. Bhatnager managed Coinbase-Visa crisis when customers were double charged, a glitch that Visa initially pinned on Coinbase, but later accepted the mistake.
Point of maturity
The Circle’s Poloniex acquisition may not have impacted Coinbase Mergers and Acquisition strategy, but competition from new fintech startups have grown and the firm may need a different approach. Robinhood commission-free cryptocurrency trading platform has managed to register over four million users. Canada based digital payments app Square Cash also plans to expand its cryptocurrency listing in the future.