Early Coinbase Exec Adam White Leaves the Company for ICE’s Bakkt Platform

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by Sofiko Abeslamidze · 3 min read
Early Coinbase Exec Adam White Leaves the Company for ICE’s Bakkt Platform
Photo: Unsplash

Coinbase lost an essential team member as the former lead of institutional products, Adam White quits to join an intercontinental digital ecosystem.

So far cryptocurrencies have been mostly a game for a vast majority of individual investors who are in charge of relatively small amount of capital being pumped into the industry of digital trading. The world’s most prominent crypto-trading exchanges has been puzzled with a quest “How to pave the way for larger institutional investors to tip their fortunes into the sea of digital economy?”

Recently Coinspeaker has reported that Coinbase launched the index fund that was said to attract high-level clientele with a net worth of more than $1 million or an annual salary of more than $200,000, yet the index has not been on air for long. The decision to shut it down has came along with an announcement of the departure of Adam White, the company’s head of institutional platform.

Shared Past

White and Coinbase share much reminiscence of the times when Bitcoin was traded for around $200 and Coinbase was headquartered in a one-room apartment, since Adam was one of the first five employees hired to the newly launched exchange for cryptocurrency trading back in 2013. From that time, Coinbase has outgrown to one of the largest U.S.-based exchanges in term of trading volume while White has made an encouraging career.

He served as the digital asset platform’s vice president and general manager of its institutional business, where Adam led the team that rolled out custodial services and a series of products targeted at institutional clients who invest between $250,000 and $20 million.

Rumors Confirmed

The news of White’s forthcoming departure was circulating last week, but an official statement confirmed the rumors was made the other day. According to the announcement published of Bakkt’s Medium profile, Adam While is leaving Coinbase to join the team of global regulated ecosystem for digital assets.

Bakkt is a product from ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange. Together with Kelly Loeffler and the rest of the Bakkt team, White is going to embed the platforms’ vision into a transformational digital asset ecosystem with a prime focus set of accredited investors.

In an interview with Fortune, White stressed that while the world of digital trading is vividly evolving and it is ready to encompass large-scale players, there is a lack of infrastructure hampering accredited investors to step into the pool:

“The interest in Bitcoin and other currencies started changing from retail to the institutional side. But the level of infrastructure of the existing trading sites often didn’t meet their expectations. That’s why they’re waiting on the sidelines.”

Bakkt, on the other hand, is expected to mitigate risk while creating opportunities for institutions. The platform has an edge over popular exchanges like Coinbase, as it promises trading on a federally regulated exchange, as well as clearing and custody services for cryptos with the safeguards similar to what is applicable on physical stock exchanges.

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