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Bitstamp snags Gemini compliance exec as it expands into US

Crypto exchange Bitstamp has plucked another exchange executive from one of its rivals as it expands into the US. 

The firm has hired Caitlin Barnett, previously the Deputy Compliance Officer at Gemini, as its U.S. chief compliance officer, according to a statement from the company.

After receiving its BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services in April, Bitstamp has been building a stateside team. The certification is the gold standard of trading regulation in New York, allowing the company to offer bitcoin, litecoin, bitcoin cash, XRP and ether to New York residents.

Bitstamp is entering the U.S. at the same time other foreign exchanges are expanding into the country, including Binance and Huobi. At last check, Bitstamp has a 5% market share among major exchange venues, as per The Block’s calculations. 

Nejc Kodrič, CEO of Bitstamp, said Barnett’s hiring stems from Bitstamp’s goal to provide a safe and transparent trading venue. Her experience in the compliance area of the industry will guide Bitstamp through regulatory hurdles as it expands, he said.

At Gemini, Barnett developed an anti-money laundering/Bank Secrecy Act compliance program. She also worked as an assistant vice president compliance officer at Commerzbank and assistant vice president and senior counsel at JPMorgan Chase. She holds a J.D. from Touro College Law Center. 

She will be based at the exchange’s New York office along with Bitstamp’s other recent hire, Hunter Merghart, who Bitstamp also looked to U.S.-based exchanges in hiring. Merghart, previously head of trading at Coinbase, now serves as Bitstamp’s head of U.S. Operations.