Tech

Steve Kaaru

Facebook edges closer to crypto reality with ex-Coinbase exec hires

Facebook may have been mum on the progress of its crypto project, but behind the scenes, the social media giant is busy putting together a formidable team. In the past few months, it has brought on board some highly influential figures in the crypto space. And now, two former compliance managers at Coinbase have also joined Facebook.

The first is Mikheil Moucharrafie who joins Facebook as a compliance officer for blockchain according to a CoinDesk report. Moucharrafie has been at Coinbase for close to four years, rising through the ranks to become the crypto exchange’s risk manager. He has previously worked as a support analyst, anti-money laundering (AML) investigator and compliance manager. He left the San Francisco-based exchange three weeks ago, having joined the firm in 2015.

Jeff Cartwright was the second one to make the shift from Coinbase to Facebook. Cartwright joined the company as its policy and compliance manager. Previously, he served as the director of regulatory risks and exams at Coinbase. Other roles he has held at the exchange include head of internal audit and AML procedures management. Prior to Coinbase, the University of Utah alumni has served as an AML consultant with KPMG, an AML compliance investigator with Goldman Sachs and compliance analyst with American Express.

When reached for comments, the two declined from revealing just how deeply involved they are going to be in Facebook’s crypto project. Facebook’s spokesperson also declined to reveal any information, telling CoinDesk that the company doesn’t comment on personnel matters.

Facebook has stepped up its efforts to launch its own cryptocurrency. New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper recently revealed that the social media giant was seeking $1 billion from venture capital firms for its project.

Just days later, the Wall Street Journal reported that the company had begun to recruit financial firms and merchants as it geared up to launch its crypto project. According to WSJ, the project was code named Project Libra.

A week ago, Facebook received a trademark patent for Project Libra. According to some reports, Facebook had been trying to patent ‘Project Libra’ for a year before finally receiving the patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

With over 2.5 billion active users on its platform, and 2 billion more on Instagram and WhatsApp, Facebook could introduce cryptos to a bigger market than any other platform currently exploring blockchain technology and its many use cases.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

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