Coinbase Hires Ex-SEC Director to Run Capital Markets Division

Coinbase Global Inc. hired a former high-ranking director from the Securities and Exchange Commission to run its capital-markets division as the cryptocurrency company prepares to go public.

Coinbase named Brett Redfearn, most recently the director of the SEC’s division of trading and markets, to run its capital-markets group, which includes its exchange operations and a brokerage and custody business.

Mr. Redfearn, who left the SEC in December, is the second high-ranking former SEC official this week to take a role with a bitcoin-focused business. On Monday, former SEC Commissioner Jay Clayton took on an advisory role at One River Asset Management, a Greenwich, Conn.-based firm that started investing in bitcoin in November.

Coinbase, valued at about $8 billion in its last private fundraising round in 2018, filed with the SEC in February to go public. It is planning a direct listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market and hasn’t yet announced a date for the offering.

The company was founded in 2012 as a cryptocurrency “wallet” and has grown to become the largest digital exchange for cryptocurrencies in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world. It has about 43 million verified users and about $90 billion worth of assets under management. It also has 7,000 institutional customers, a segment that has become more important to the company and industry.