Robinhood Names Crypto CTO and Compliance Chief Ahead of Wallet Launch

George PaulNews

Robinhood Crypto CTO Johann Kerbrat. Image courtesy of Robinhood

Ahead of Robinhood’s foray into crypto wallets next month, the company has announced two new execs, a CTO and Chief Compliance Officer, to bolster its cryptocurrency leadership team.

Beginning in October, Johann Kerbrat will step up from his role as Robinhood Crypto’s Head of Crypto Engineering to become the CTO for the brokerage platform’s crypto subsidiary. Before taking on the task of leading Robinhood’s crypto engineering team, Kerbrat had been at Iron Fish, a privacy-minded crypto startup, and held tech roles at Uber and Airbnb.

Alongside Kerbrat, Benjamin Melnicki will also join the cryptocurrency unit as its new Chief Compliance Officer, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. Melnicki had previously been the compliance chief at Grayscale Investments, a digital asset management firm. Before that, he worked as a regulatory counsel at Ripple Labs and Blockchain.com.

Robinhood Org Chart

The duo are set to join Robinhood’s maturing cryptocurrency unit shortly before the launch of its own crypto wallet, which will allow the company to offer users the ability to trade, send, and receive cryptocurrencies all in one place. Earlier this month the company also introduced the ability to schedule recurring cryptocurrency investments.

Robinhood Crypto has been a massive source of growth for Robinhood and as cryptocurrencies accounted for $233 million of the $451 million in total transaction-based revenue the company collected in the second quarter of 2020, up from just $5 million this time last year.

It will be up to Kerbrat to continue to build up Robinhood's cryptocurrency offerings with new features to keep the company a step ahead of rivals like Coinbase, which just announced the upcoming ability for users to deposit portions of their paychecks straight into their account.

Melnicki, on the other hand, will be focused on keeping Robinhood Crypto on the right side of the law.

Earlier this year, the crytocurrency trading unit announced that it is expected to pay a $30 million settlement after the New York State Department of Financial Services found the company to be in violation of numerous regulatory requirements.

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