BitGo Hires Sales Chief From Crypto Custody Rival Xapo

Joining as the chief revenue officer, Najarian is tasked with global sales strategy. Najarian was senior vice president of institutions at bitcoin service provider Xapo before joining BitGo. Coinbase Custody announced its acquisition of Xapo’s institutional business last week.

Cryptocurrency custodian BitGo has announced the addition of Xapo‘s Pete Najarian to its executive team.

Najarian said the cryptocurrency market is gaining interest from traditional finance. “In my conversations with institutional investors, it’s clear that interest in cryptocurrency continues to grow, and that there is a real and significant opportunity”, Najarian said.

Speaking on the latest hiring, BitGo CEO Mike Belshe said Najaraian’s history in both the legacy and cryptocurrency markets made him a natural fit for the position:

“Pete has a deep understanding of capital markets and an exceptional breadth of experience in financial services. This makes him a perfect partner for institutional investors who are entering the cryptocurrency market. .. Pete’s experience in both traditional financial markets and cryptocurrency will be critical.”

BitGo Grows Crypto Custody Options With New Swiss and Germany Entities

BitGo is expanding its institutional cryptocurrency storage service to Europe with the launch of two entities in Switzerland and Germany.The Palo Alto, California-based firm said Monday the new custody options will allow clients to choose the jurisdiction that best suits their needs.

The Swiss entity, BitGo GmbH, is a member of the Financial Services Standards Association, overseen by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, as per the announcement. The new German entity, BitGo Deutschland GmbH, is already operational but not yet licensed. BitGo Deutschland “will apply for regulatory approval when the application window opens in November 2020,” said the firm.

“We saw a lot of demand in Europe last year and it was clear that clients there needed to be able to work with European based firms that were regulated within specific jurisdictions”, said BitGo CEO Mike Belshe. “Switzerland and Germany have both become important European centers for digital assets as well as for forward-thinking regulatory frameworks. … we have been impressed with the understanding and support of Swiss and German regulators.”

Launched as a U.S.-regulated trust company in 2018, the firm’s claim of “strong” adoption by enterprises appears to be backed up by the numbers. Speaking at CoinDesk’s Invest: NYC conference in November, Belshe said the firm was conducting over 20 percent of all on-chain bitcoin transactions.

BitGo started allowing clients to earn interest on some funds in custody in October, adding staking support for the cryptocurrencies dash and algorand.

Bithumb Taps Chainalysis for FATF-Grade Crypto Investigation Tool

Cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is clamping down on suspicious transactions less than a week after South Korea, its home country, moved to enact tough new laws for the virtual asset space.Bithumb announced Tuesday it had deployed Chainalysis’ “Reactor” investigations tool to get ahead of illicit activity. Reactor, used in many cryptocurrency law enforcement actions, will help the exchange’s compliance officers police their network, according to a press release.

The announcement follows the South Korean National Assembly’s early March vote to amend the Special Financial Transactions Information Act, which, once signed into law, will force all virtual asset service providers (VASPs) to register with the government and submit to an internet security certification program. Bithumb is one of the few South Korean VASPs to have already completed both aspects.

The National Assembly’s vote brings its money transmission laws more in line with the Financial Action Task Force’s recommendations around VASPs last year, ahead of a June deadline for countries to comply.

“They had an immediate need for Reactor to manage their hack last year, and wanted to focus on boosting their investigative skills”, said Chainalysis’ Head of Communications Maddie Kennedy.

Many private-sector crypto companies partner with Chainalysis, though not always for Reactor. Tether uses “Know Your Transaction” to build risk profiles, as does Bittrex, Binance and some 150 other VASPs around the world, by Chainalysis’ own count.

Kennedy said Bithumb and Chainalysis are now in talks to provide KYT, too.

Other above-board Korean VASPs are also gearing up for the new regulations. Korbit CEO Caleb Oh said his exchange “is considering making various investments” to comply with the amendment and the Financial Action Task Force’s “travel rule.”

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