Nachdem Guillaume Chatain fast ein Jahrzehnt für den Giganten der Wall Street – JPMorgan Chase & Co – gearbeitet hatte, wagte er den Sprung in Richtung Blockchain und Crypto, wo er half, einen regulierten digitalen Broker-Dealer aufzubauen.
He is now Head of EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) Sales at the leading cryptocurrency exchange in the US – Coinbase – a position he has held for over a year.
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From JP Morgan to Coinbase: The future of finance
Chatain has made a major transition in his professional life. For almost a decade, his previous company was none other than JP Morgan – the international banking giant headed by Jamie Dimon.
Dimon was known for his particularly skeptical view of cryptocurrencies and once made headlines when he Bitcoin referred to as “fraud”. He later apologized for it, but remained relatively critical of the industry as a whole.
Ultimately, what made Chatain leave JPM for Coinbase?
“When I was at JP Morgan in 2016, I started reading a lot about blockchain. For each research paper, I took them, printed them out and read them.
I really thought this was going to be the future of finance. This would help remove many frictions and many intermediaries present in the world of traditional finance.” – He told us when we met in France for Paris Blockchain Week.
Living between the two worlds, Chatain eventually decided to leave Hong Kong for London and began working on his own idea of a structured investing marketplace to be managed through smart contracts. However, he conceded that this was too early for the time:
“I spoke to the regulator in the UK because I figured if the regulator isn’t on board it’s never going to work. And the FCA in the UK was basically saying, ‘That’s a great idea. Why not come and build and do the first test as part of our FCA regulatory sandbox?”
However, Chatain stayed true to his path and turned the page. He then decided to join Coinbase, where he now holds the position of Head of Institutional Sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
“From an institutional perspective, it is very important for European clients to have a counterparty of Coinbase’s caliber,” he explained of Coinbase’s expansion into Europe.
“I’m talking about a public company, a company that over the nine years of its existence has proven that we are very good at custodianship of clients’ assets. We can do it on a large scale without ever losing their money.”
“We also offer our clients a full prime broker experience that goes beyond simple access to Coinbase liquidity. We give our institutional clients access to a liquidity pool consisting of multiple regulated exchanges and OTC counterparties, and we offer additional services such as financing, credit, lending, analytics and staking directly from cold storage,” he said.
Despite UK regulators’ somewhat dovish stance on crypto, the region is among the most active in terms of institutional adoption, Chatain said.
Guillaume Chatain. Structured Retail Products
The institutions are there
Since 2018, the phrase “the institutions are here” has been used by crypto advocates almost every year. But is it like this in 2022? Coinbase’s Head of EMEA Sales, who deals only with institutional clients, Chatain told us:
“I can tell you that institutions are here, present. I deal daily with corporate institutions such as high net worth individuals and family offices, hedge funds, wealth managers and large corporations. We have increased our institutional trading volume tenfold over the past year.
We’re in the fortunate position of having so many incoming inquiries that we don’t have the bandwidth with my team, which by the way has grown fourfold. And we still need to prioritize the biggest opportunities over smaller companies when it comes to onboarding. The institutions in general continue to show great interest.”
Life after Coinbase went public
Coinbase made history over the past year when it became a public company. Chatain claimed that the move
Guillaume Chatain. RocketReach
helped to legitimize not only the company but also the industry. With the added transparency of being a public company, the number of institutions seeking business relationships with Coinbase has grown.
“An example is a company, a trading company, that contacted us immediately after the listing and said, ‘We’re just waiting for the company to go public to get involved.’ And we’ve had them on board ever since.
So it’s been generally very positive as part of my daily conversations with new prospects, just to mention we’re listed, it makes a difference.”
Chatain also explained that after the listing, Coinbase raised capital through a convertible bond. A few months later, the company raised additional funds through a 10-year bond issue that was “oversubscribed.”
” Having access to the capital markets or the bond market really shows that you have a lot of investors who think Coinbase will be there for 10 years, for the next 10 years, and are willing to put some money there. I think that’s even more important than being a public company.”
The Coinbase culture
Chatain also emphasized the transparent corporate culture at Coinbase.
“Whatever you read on the Coinbase blog, whatever Brian (Armstrong, Coinbase CEO) writes in his own papers is super transparent. And when you start working at Coinbase, that’s exactly what it says on paper. So that was very refreshing when I started.”
And what about Coinbase as a flat organization? “I come from a bank like JP Morgan, where everything is so huge that you have access to top management, but that very rarely happens. At Coinbase we have company meetings every few weeks and Brian is always there. He’s always talking and always super prepared and very transparent in what he’s doing, so I really love that.”
Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase
Become the Amazon of Crypto
Undoubtedly, one of the most discussed topics within the community is Coinbase’s new coin listing process. Chatain emphasized the company’s transparent approach, saying:
“I would tell any founder who wants to list their token to go to Coinbase’s asset hub. Something I love about Coinbase is that we just make everything transparent: all the rules and listing criteria are there.
Our goal is to become the Amazon of crypto – and to offer all available crypto tokens as long as we are entitled to do so from both a security and legal perspective.”
Source: Crypto News Deutsch