Coinbase Exec Leaves Crypto Exchange for Stablecoin Issuer

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Another alumnus of Coinbase has left the cryptocurrency industry unicorn for a smaller startup.

Vaishali Mehta, who worked as a senior compliance manager at Coinbase from November 2017 to November 2018, joined TrustToken last month as head of compliance, according to her LinkedIn profile.

TrustToken, the company behind the TrueUSD stablecoin, confirmed the hire. Neither Coinbase nor Mehta herself responded to CoinDesk’s requests for comment at press time.

A former head of BSA/AML (Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money-laundering) risk and onboarding at Deutsche Bank, Mehta is one of several high-ranking or long-tenured employees who have left Coinbase in the last few months.

In October, Adam White, who was Coinbase’s fifth-ever employee, left to become the chief operating officer of Bakkt, the new digital asset trading platform built by Intercontinental Exchange, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange. Also that month, Coinbase’s head of trading, Hunter Merghart, resigned after just six months on the job.

Coinbase’s chief policy officer Mike Lempres left for venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (an investor in the startup) in November. And last month, Coinbase risk operations manager Rees Atlas, who joined in 2013, moved to the marketing communications startup Twilio, and soon after that chief product officer Jeremy Henrickson quit.

New employer

Last year was a busy time for Mehta’s new employer, TrustToken. After launching TrueUSD, a stablecoin backed by U.S. dollars, in March, the company raised $20 million of venture funding through a strategic token sale from investors including Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), BlockTower Capital, Danhua Capital and others in June.

In December, TrustToken reported successfully passing a smart contract security audit by Certik, SlowMist and Zeppelin. The company said it’s storing its dollar reserves in multiple third-party trust companies regulated by multiple U.S. states.

TrueUSD is one of several cryptocurrencies designed to maintain parity with the U.S. dollar that launched in 2018 to compete with the market leader, known as tether or USDT. Stablecoins allow crypto traders to move money quickly between exchanges without having to rely on the banking system. Tether suffered a crisis of confidence in the fall amid questions about its dollar backing, though it later regained its parity with the greenback.

As of Thursday evening, TrueUSD’s market cap exceeded $200 million.

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