Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman Christopher Giancarlo, also popularly known as “Crypto Dad,” has reassigned from crypto lending firm BlockFi’s board of directors after taking the job four months ago.
BlockFi has announced a press release stating that Giancarlo has been replaced by Ellen-Blair Chube, a managing director at investment banking firm William Blair & Company. While news reporters have tried reaching out to Giancarlo to shed more light on his decision, Giancarlo declined to respond to such requests for comment.
Zac Prince, the founder and CEO at BlockFi, talked about the development and said that Giancarlo would advise the group on digital assets in an informal capacity.
Meanwhile, Prince described Chube as having “strong financial services experience married with her deep knowledge of the public sector” in bringing her expertise to the group as a board member.
Giancarlo’s unexpected leave comes at a critical moment for BlockFi. In July, multiple states, in the United States, including New Jersey, Texas and Alabama, claimed that the firm is illegally funding its proprietary trading and cryptocurrency lending operations through the sale of unregistered securities. However, the firm has repeatedly stated that its BlockFi Interest Account is not a security.
BlockFi is fighting to resolve legal matters, enacted from multiple US states alleging that the firm’s flagship BlockFi Interest accounts (BIA) were unregistered securities. The legal issues have put BlockFi into crisis mode just as it is planning to go public after a potential $500 million Series E funding round, a deal that would bring the firm a total valuation of almost $5 billion.
The crypto lending firm is planning for a stock market debut that BlockFi’s Series E investors were informed could happen as soon as 2022.
It is unclear why Giancarlo leaves BlockFi’s board after being in the position for only four months. When he joined BlockFi in April 2021, he hinted at helping the firm bridge the gap between digital assets and traditional finance.
Giancarlo As the Contemporary Archetype
Giancarlo previously worked as the chairman of the CFTC for five years before leaving in April 2019. He left his mark on the CFTC as an advocate of modernized and digitalized regulatory processes, established LabCFTC as the derivatives-oversight agency’s focal point for regtech and fintech innovation, and became known as “Crypto Dad” for his interest in and openness to digital-asset products and blockchain technology.
In January 2020, Giancarlo co-founded the “Digital Dollar Project”, which seeks to encourage a US central bank digital currency development and discussions.
In March 2021, Giancarlo took a stake in crypto-asset and blockchain investment firm BlockTower Capital. In April this year, Post-trade and blockchain technology provider Baton Systems appointed him as a senior advisor, a role that the “Crypto Dad” continues performing to support the company’s post-trade payments and settlements growth strategy.
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