The chief policy officer at leading crypto brokerage and exchange platform Coinbase has left his position for one at U.S. venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Is Michael Lempres’s move indicative of a wider pilgrimage of talent from the digital asset industry in the wake of the 2018 bear market?
Will More Crypto Talent Follow Lempres’s Lead?
According to an article in Bloomberg, Lempres, has decided to leave the position he started in September of this year. He will instead take up a role with one of Coinbase’s earliest investors, Andreessen Horowitz.
The report goes on to suggest that Lempres’s move, given the ever-increasing interest that U.S. and worldwide regulators are taking in cryptocurrencies at present, creates uncertainty in the space. This is because the role of chief policy officer involves negotiations with various global regulators.
The vacuum created by Lempres’s departure could deny one of the biggest names in cryptocurrency necessary talent in helping to steer the creation of legal frameworks going forward.
Prior to taking a position as CPO, Lempres had formerly served more than twelve months as the head of the San Francisco-based crypto startup’s legal department. Following the appointment of Brian Brooks to the position, Lempres took up the role of chief policy officer.
An email sent from Coinbase to Bloomberg expressed admiration for Lempres’s help in growing the company over the last year-and-a-bit:
“As chief legal and risk officer during a time of tremendous growth for Coinbase, Mike was instrumental in building the company’s legal and compliance functions and driving our vision of trust through compliance… We wish him the best in his new position with Andreessen Horowitz.”
It would be easy for us to simply link the current market performance of Bitcoin and other leading digital assets with such moves from the likes of Lempres and cynically state that the former Coinbase chief policy officer is jumping ship in the face of the epic price declines in the last few days.
However, there is little to suggest that this is the case. Coinbase continue to aggressively hire and are still poaching large names from more traditional companies.
You also have to presume that any professionals who are so quick to ditch digital currencies over such a rapid drop in price are probably in the industry to make a quick buck, rather than helping to redesign the very fabric of global business and financial relationships.
Whilst we may indeed see other big names leave cryptocurrency for other opportunities, those that remain do so with a passion more resolved than ever to create, build, and innovate. It seems much more likely that Lempres’s departure at exactly the time of a massive market downturn is simply a coincidence.
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