Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase hires chief compliance officer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has hired finance executive Jeff Horowitz as chief compliance officer, to help it navigate regulations for virtual currency companies, the company said on Tuesday.

For the past three years Horowitz has served as global head of compliance for Pershing LLC, a subsidiary of Bank of New York Mellon Corp. Pershing handles approximately $1.8 trillion in client assets.

Coinbase, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges based in the United States, said the hire reflected its commitment to compliance, as well as its recognition that companies require seasoned teams to deal with regulatory requirements in different countries.

Regulators are increasing their scrutiny of the cryptocurrency sector, following an explosion in trading of virtual coins such as bitcoin and ether.

This has led some companies in the sector to pay closer attention to their compliance procedures.

“As Coinbase - along with the cryptocurrency space as a whole - grows and matures, continued regulatory compliance across all the varying jurisdictions globally will be critical,” Asiff Hirji, Coinbase president and chief operating officer, said in a blog post.

Coinbase, which counts New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc as an investor, has also been seeking to attract more business from institutional investors.

To do so it is planning to offer services such as a sophisticated matching engine and secure storage of cryptocurrencies.

Prior to Pershing, Horowitz worked at Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs, and U.S. bank regulator the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Coinbase said. He has also served as a member of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group.

(Corrects headline and first paragraph to reflect Coinbase correcting its earlier statement that said Horowitz was the company’s first chief compliance officer)

Reporting by Anna Irrera, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien