George Osborne joins Coinbase in advisory role

James has a passion for how technologies influence business and has several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Former UK chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne has joined US crypto provider Coinbase as part of the firm’s global advisory council.

The advisory council is aimed at informing Coinbase’s global strategy. Recent licenses have been secured in France, Singapore, Spain, and Bermuda, as well as expanding access to Coinbase products across 20 African countries.

Closer to home however, Coinbase is facing scrutiny from US regulators. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged the company in June for allegedly operating as an unregistered national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency.

Last month, federal southern district of New York Judge Katherine Polk Faila conducted a hearing in which both Coinbase and the SEC fielded questions. Elliott Z. Stein, senior litigation analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, posited a couple of days after the hearing that Coinbase was ‘70% likely’ to win.

In April, Osborne interviewed Coinbase co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong at the Innovate Finance Global Summit in which Armstrong confirmed ‘anything [was] on the table’ for a potential move away from the US.

“We are pleased to have George join our council at an exciting time for us in the UK and globally,” said Faryar Shirzad, chief policy officer at Coinbase in a statement. “George brings with him a wealth of experience in business, journalism and government. We look forward to relying on his insights and experiences as we grow Coinbase around the world.”

The latter is no idle statement. Since leaving political office Osborne has racked up the gigs – the Guardian noted that at one point he had nine on the go at once – and is currently partner at Robey Warshaw LLP, a boutique investment bank.

“There’s a huge amount of exciting innovation in finance right now,” said Osborne in a statement. “Blockchains are transforming financial markets and online transactions. Coinbase is at the frontier of these developments. I look forward to working with the team there as they build a new future in financial services.”

Picture credit: “George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, during his opening speech”, by Richter Frank-Jurgen, used under CC BY-SA 2.0

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