After four months on the board of directors of crypto lending business BlockFi, former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman Christopher Giancarlo, often known as “Crypto Dad,” has resigned.
Giancarlo has been replaced by Ellen-Blair Chube, a managing director at investment banking company William Blair & Company, according to a news statement from BlockFi. While news reporters attempted to get out to Giancarlo for further information about his choice, he declined.
BlockFi’s founder and CEO, Zac Prince, spoke on the development and stated Giancarlo would provide informal advice on digital assets to the company.
Meanwhile, Prince praised Chube for contributing her skills to the organization as a board member, describing her as having “strong financial services experience combined with her profound knowledge of the public sector.”
Giancarlo’s abrupt departure comes at a crucial time for BlockFi. Multiple states in the US, including New Jersey, Texas, and Alabama, accused the company of illegally financing its proprietary trading and cryptocurrency lending operations by selling unregistered securities in July. On the other hand, the company has maintained that its BlockFi Interest Account is not a security.
BlockFi is battling legal action brought by various US states alleging that the company’s flagship BlockFi Interest accounts (BIA) were unregistered securities. As a result, BlockFi is in crisis mode due to legal difficulties just as it prepares to go public following a potential $500 million Series E fundraising round, which would value the company at almost $5 billion.
BlockFi’s Series E investors were told that the crypto lending business is contemplating a stock market debut that may come as soon as 2022.
It’s unknown why Giancarlo left BlockFi’s board of directors after only four months on the job. However, he hinted at helping BlockFi bridge the gap between digital assets and traditional finance when he joined the company in April 2021.
As the Modern Archetype, Giancarlo
Before departing the CFTC in April 2019, Giancarlo served as its chairman for five years. He made his mark at the CFTC as a proponent of modernized and digitalized regulatory processes, establishing LabCFTC as the agency’s focal point for regtech and fintech innovation, and earning the moniker “Crypto Dad” for his interest in and openness to digital-asset products and blockchain technology.
Giancarlo co-founded the “Digital Dollar Project” in January 2020 to encourage the creation and discussion of a digital currency by the US central bank.
Giancarlo invested in BlockTower Capital, a crypto-asset and blockchain investment business, in March 2021. In April of this year, he was named a senior adviser by Baton Systems, a supplier of post-trade and blockchain technology, and he continues to play that position to assist the company’s post-trade payments and settlements development plan.