BlockFi has bolstered its C-suite with two new hires as it looks to capitalize on increasing awareness and adoption of cryptocurrencies in 2022.
On Tuesday, the crypto financial services company hired former Mastercard executive Deborah Barta to serve as its first-ever COO. Barta's new position places her in charge of professionalizing and formalizing BlockFi's operations after four years of hypergrowth.
One day later, the New Jersey-based company made another significant hire, Alex Grigoryan, who replaced Mahesh Paolini-Subramanya as CTO. As BlockFi's top technologist, Grigoryan will oversee its global product development and its technology strategy.
The two new executives both bring deep fintech backgrounds as well as experience growing organizations and operating at scale. BlockFi manages more than $15 billion in assets and has generated over $200 million in interest for clients since its inception in 2017.
Barta is a 15-year veteran of Mastercard and most recently served as its SVP of Strategy and Provenance. Before that, she spent time as the CEO of Simplify, the first startup to successfully exit from Mastercard Labs, and helmed Mastercard's fintech accelerator.
In BlockFi's announcement, CEO Zac Prince called Barta "a demonstrated corporate innovator" and said she brings "the perfect pairing of strong financial services experience and an entrepreneurial spirit that will thrive at BlockFi."
Grigoryan brings over 15 years of engineering and management experience. Before joining BlockFi, he was the top product engineering executive at mobile gaming platform Skillz. He also garnered experience operating at scale in the Fortune 500 as he previously held engineering and developer leadership roles at both Walmart and PayPal.
In a separate press release, Prince stated, "Given Alex's stellar track record of working with billion-dollar global brands in the mobile payments and e-commerce spaces, we knew that Alex was the perfect fit for the role and are ecstatic to have him on board to continue to make BlockFi the crypto platform of choice in 2022."
2022 is shaping up to be a banner year for crypto startups and blockchain ventures, which received a record $33 billion in VC funding last year. This funding boom was capped by $10.5 billion in VC allocations in Q4 alone and could lead to several IPOs in 2022, Galaxy Digital's Head of Firmwide Research, Alex Thorn, told Yahoo! Finance.
BlockFi was one of the many crypto startups to raise money in 2021 and closed a massive $350 million Series D funding round in March 2021, valuing the company at $3 billion. Since then, the company has added a slew of experienced executives to help it mature, including a Chief Risk Officer, Chief People Officer, Global Head of Trading, Head of North America and LATAM Institutional Distribution, General Manager of Retail and a new Board Member.
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