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.

“Crypto is an exciting place and I have been lucky to have been a part of this ‘madness’”, Mehta told CoinDesk through a spokesperson. “I really related to Trusttoken’s vision to foster a new financial future which is resilient to fraud, failure and greed. Ultimately though its the people who you work with that makes or breaks the workplace and I consider myself fortunate to be a part of such an astounding team and help take this company closer to it’s Mission.”

TrustToken, the company behind the TrueUSD stablecoin, confirmed the hire. Coinbase didn’t responded to CoinDesk’s request for a 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.

This post credited to coindesk Image source: Coindesk

The Federal Reserve Board governor is still not fond of the idea of central bank digital currencies, despite the fact that the reserve is equipped to issue one.

The Fed Says No to CBDCs

It’s been a year since bitcoin’s price exploded and launched cryptocurrencies into the mainstream, which pushed many to believe that the future of money was just around the corner. With an incredibly high number of companies promoting blockchain-based—assets popping up each day—the idea doesn’t seem all that far-fetched.

Despite the number of advocates promoting the benefits of cryptocurrencies, there is still a long way to go before major financial institutions decide to enter the market.

Quartz reported on Dec. 27th that back in May 2018, Lael Brainard, a Federal Reserve Board governor, spoke at the Decoding Digital Currency Conference in San Francisco, where she delivered a speech criticizing cryptocurrencies and their lack of transparency.

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While her speech praised blockchain for being one of the most significant technological innovations of the decade, she was skeptical about the usefulness of cryptocurrencies. Citing the high price volatility of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Brainard said that such coins couldn’t be used as a store of value or a unit of account.

She also noted that cryptocurrencies were extremely vulnerable to hacks and money-laundering, making it hard for any major financial institution to deal in these assets. Raising concerns about how a national digital currency would affect retail banks, which make loans to the public, Brainard said that the Federal Reserve maintains that issuing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) is generally a bad idea.

The Infrastructure for CBDCs is Already Here

The subject of central bank digital currencies got a lot of media traction after Christine Lagarde, the director of the International Monetary Fund, supported the idea at the Singapore Fintech Festival in November.

Lagarde highlighted some of the benefits that national cryptocurrencies would bring, saying that they could solve the problems of financial inclusion and privacy, as well as security and consumer protection.

Even Kevin Warsh, a former governor at the US Federal Reserve, who was among the candidates to become the new chairman of the Reserve, was in favor of the idea. Earlier this year, Warsh told the New York Times that he would have allocated resources to explore a national currency.

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According to Quartz, the blockchain-based “Fedcoin” had the potential to improve the transparency and efficiency of the U.S. dollar and could have given the Federal Reserve access to unconventional financial tools, such as negative interest rates.

Aleksander Berentsen and Fabian Schar, researchers at the St. Louis Fed, studied the idea even further. In February 2018, they concluded that any central bank could “easily” create its own digital currency.

Bernsten and Shar argued that, as the key characteristics of cryptocurrencies are red flags for central banks, and consequently they wouldn’t be issued on a “permissionless” network. These digital currencies would effectively be centrally-managed electronic money.

However, the researchers noted that the idea would be hard to put into practice:

“cryptocurrency is still a very young technology and there are large operational risks. Overall, we believe that the call for a ‘Fedcoin’ or any other central bank cryptocurrency is somewhat naïve.”

This post credited to cryptoslate Image source: Cryptoslate

After months of public uncertainty bought on by years of deliberation by the Indian government, authorities have discussed the framework to legally ban the usage of ‘private’ cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

In the 19th meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) headed by India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday, the subject of cryptocurrencies took the floor.

According to a release by the Indian Government’s Ministry of Finance through the Press Information Bureau, the working group “deliberated on the issues and challenges” of cryptocurrencies in the country.

Pointedly, an inter-governmental committee tasked to study and propose a legal framework for cryptocurrencies has, instead, suggested a ban on using cryptocurrencies in India.

The full excerpt from the press release reads:

“The Council also deliberated on the issues and challenges of Crypto Assets/Currency and was briefed about the deliberations in the High-level Committee chaired by the Secretary (Economic Affairs) to devise an appropriate legal framework to ban use of private crypto currencies in India and encouraging the use of Distributed Ledger Technology, as announced in the Budget 2018-19.”

It’s crucial to note the phrasing used in the public release here.

Enforcing a legal framework to ban the “use” of cryptocurrencies could extend to trading and its application as a payment instrument but not necessarily owning cryptocurrencies.

As domestic industry source CryptoKanoon, which has been following the entire saga, reports:

Crypto Kanoon@cryptokanoon

Mr. Garg briefed FSDC Council on:

“..deliberations in the High-level Committee to devise an appropriate legal framework to ban use ofprivate crypto currenciesin India”

Does the abovesaid indicate that the possession and trading of Crypto are going to be permitted?

The domestic cryptocurrency trading has already been largely nullified as a result of the banking ban enforced by the central bank in April, leading to the shuttering of at least one major Indian exchange recently.

This story is developing…

 

This post credited to ccn  Image source: CCN