- The splashy appointment comes as a number of crypto companies are cutting staff in an effort to maintain their margins in a turbulent market
- One source dubbed his departure a “big blow” for Coinbase
Matrixport has landed a prized former Coinbase executive to lead the cryptocurrency investment platform’s US business, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Anthony DeMartino, a Wall Street veteran, most recently was head of risk strategies, institutional DeFi and derivatives trading at Coinbase. The lengthy title, one source who has done business with the exchange said, indicates DeMartino’s departure deals a “big blow.”
Matrixport representatives confirmed the hire. A Coinbase spokesperson did not respond to multiple requests for comment. DeMartino declined to comment.
Cynthia Wu, Matrixport’s chief operating officer, told Blockworks that company executives are convinced DeMartino’s “experience, passion and style fits Matrixport very well.”
Having previously spent time at traditional finance institutions — including managing director-level positions overseeing aspects of emerging-market trading for Barclays and HSBC — DeMartino is known by industry participants to keep strict tabs on a deep rolodex of Wall Street contacts.
That, sources said, was especially important to Coinbase’s yearslong push to develop something like a traditional prime brokerage — including lending, trading and clearing, as well as capital-introduction. Though exchanges and other crypto financial firms have worked to develop such an all-in-one, plug-and-play product, most traders say it’s still a pipe dream, leading to a hodgepodge of different service providers based in different time zones to invest in different corners of crypto markets.
Coinbase recently announced steep layoffs in response to a market downturn that has eroded once-lucrative trading fees. Although exchanges have tried for years to diversify their revenue streams to reduce reliance on such fees, results have been mixed.
Matrixport, meanwhile, appears to still be on the hiring trail — an outlier in a crypto landscape where most layoffs are measured as better or worse than expected, but expected, nonetheless.