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Coinbase Hires Former White House Advisor as Chief Policy Officer

Sarah HallamNews
Faryar Shirzad

Faryar Shirzad. Image courtesy of Coinbase.

Coinbase announced Monday that Faryar Shirzad, former Global Co-Head of Government Affairs at Goldman Sachs and former White House Deputy National Security Advisor, will be its new Chief Policy Officer.

Shirzad spent the past 15 years at Goldman Sachs, where he managed the firm’s government relations and public policy strategy. Part of his job was regularly engaging with policymakers around the world to help navigate complex legislative and regulatory developments.

Before coming to Goldman Sachs, Shirzad held several government positions, including serving on the staff of the National Security Council at the White House as Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs and as the U.S. G-8 Sherpa, a representative of the head of state at the G8 world leaders summit.

Coinbase has seen some historic wins this year. Its blockbuster IPO earlier in April made founder and CEO Brian Armstrong one of the richest people on the planet and increased public awareness around bitcoin. But experts are saying that a heightened increase in regulatory pressure around the cryptocurrency could lead to more volatile trading.

Shirzad’s hire signals Coinbase’s most recent attempt to form relationships with lawmakers in the U.S. in light of this increase in regulatory pressure. In a company blog post, Coinbase said that they see “collaboration with policymakers around the world as necessary to unlock the full potential of the cryptoeconomy, but also as a competitive advantage for our business.”

“As millions of our customers are based in the U.S., we’re committed to helping the U.S. embrace the exciting use cases of our new industry by providing more regulatory clarity to the industry,” the blog post reads. “As Chief Policy Officer, Faryar will engage with lawmakers, regulators and other policy experts to realize crypto’s full potential to fuel a more equitable financial system along with job creation, GDP growth, and innovation.”

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