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Crypto Custodian BitGo Hires Former Xapo Vice-President as CRO

Digital asset trust and security company BitGo has appointed former Xapo senior vice-president Pete Najarian as its new chief revenue officer.

Digital asset trust and security company BitGo has appointed wallet provider Xapo’s former senior vice-president Pete Najarian as its new chief revenue officer (CRO).

As finance-focused media outlet Finance Magnates reported on Aug. 19, Najarian will now serve as BitGo’s CRO, reporting to the company’s chief executive officer Mike Belshe. Commenting on the appointment, Belshe said:

“Pete has a deep understanding of capital markets and an exceptional breadth of experience in financial services. This makes him a perfect partner for institutional investors who are entering the cryptocurrency market. We’re building the financial infrastructure of the future and Pete’s experience in both traditional financial markets and cryptocurrency will be critical.”

Najarian’s profile on business and employment network LinkedIn reveals that he previously served as global head of emerging markets sales at the Royal Bank of Scotland, and head of institutional client coverage-APAC at financial services firm UBS, among others.

BitGo expands its presence

Earlier in August, Cointelegraph reported that BitGo is expanding its presence in Japan. BitGo is reportedly planning to grow its Japan-based team, including hiring a sales director for the company’s Tokyo office.

In May, BitGo appointed veteran Wall Street trader Nick Carmi as its head of financial services. The hire ostensibly intends to forge stronger connections between digital assets and the traditional financial sphere.

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Civic, BitGo to Release New Wallet for Crypto and Identity Data

Decentralized identity startup Civic and blockchain security firm BitGo plan to launch a new wallet using BitGo’s multisig technology in Q4 2019.

Decentralized identity startup Civic and blockchain security firm BitGo plan to launch a new wallet using BitGo’s multisig technology in Q4 2019.

In a press release shared with Cointelegraph on July 23, the two firms revealed that the forthcoming “Civic Wallet” will host hold both cryptocurrency and identity data on mobile devices.

Control and security over funds and personal data

In the press release, Vinny Lingham, co-founder and CEO of Civic said “We’re building a new financial and identity ecosystem.” Lingham further expressed enthusiasm for lowering the barrier to entry into the blockchain sphere for consumers.

Using BitGo’s multisig security technology, the wallet will require users to undergo identity authentication using a blockchain system for secure verification. As the press release notes, this underlying data is not shared between multiple parties and aims to grant users more control over their personal information. It continues:

“Once they have a Civic Wallet, users are able to selectively share parts of their verified identity with third parties, for example, purchasing age-restricted products anonymously.” 

Mike Belshe, Co-Founder and CEO of Bitgo, underscored that such technologies represent a big step forward for crypto users. Should a user lose their mobile device containing their wallet’s private key, a backup system can securely restore their crypto holdings and information — a feature that was atypical in the industry before, he implied.

Sign-ups for the Civic Wallet are limited to pre-registration or referral by someone in a user’s network.

As recently reported, Chinese blockchain platforms NEO and Ontology are partnering to create an interoperable protocol that will support a full spectrum of digital assets and contribute to Ontology’s ongoing development of its own decentralized identity framework.  

Wallets beyond crypto

In a new twist on digital wallet applications, Daimler — the German multinational corporation behind the Mercedes-Benz brand — has just partnered with European blockchain interface solutions provider Riddle & Code to develop an open car hardware wallet solution. Blockchain-powered car wallets are intended to be integrated into a broad gamut of use cases, including car-sharing, autonomous vehicles, the real-time exchange of secure traffic data and smart city environments.

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Hackers Steal $100,000+ Worth of BTC From Engineering Manager at Crypto Custodian BitGo

Sean Coonce, engineering manager at cryptocurrency custodian BitGo, announced that he has fallen victim to a SIM swapping hack.

Sean Coonce, engineering manager at cryptocurrency custodian BitGo, announced that he has fallen victim to a SIM swapping hack in a Medium post published on May 20.

According to the post, Coonce had over $100,000 siphoned out of his account on cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase in under 24 hours.

In his post, Coone details SIM swapping, a practice that sees the attacker maliciously requesting a telecommunications carrier to redirect the traffic of a mobile phone number to a device over which they have control. This device is then used to obtain two-factor-authentication (2FA) codes which grant control over the victim’s online account.

After describing in detail how the attack had been carried out, Coone noted his recommendations to prevent such attacks, including using a hardware wallet to secure personal cryptocurrency holdings and using a YubiKey for 2FA. In cases in which a YubiKey is not supported, he recommends using Google Voice 2FA, since he claims those numbers are not vulnerable to SIM swapping.

Lastly, Coonce also suggests using a password manager and reducing a user’s personal online footprint by publicly sharing less personal information online. He stated that he “can’t stop thinking about the small, easy things I could have done to protect myself along the way,” and added:

“Given my naive security practices, I probably deserved to get hacked.”

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, United States blockchain and crypto investor Michael Terpin has won $75.8 million in a civil case against 21-year-old Nicholas Truglia, who reportedly defrauded him of crypto assets through SIM swapping.

Also in May, the U.S. Department of Justice released a fifteen-count indictment charging a hacking group labeled “The Community” with SIM swapping in order to steal cryptocurrencies.

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Digital Asset Finance Firm BitGo Announces Off-Chain Clearance and Settlement Service

Digital asset finance firm BitGo announced the launch of its off-chain clearing and settlement service.

Digital asset finance firm BitGo announced the launch of its off-chain clearance and settlement service in a press release published on May 14.

Per the announcement, the service will be available to clients of qualified custodian BitGo Trust Company, and assets are not moved from custody while reportedly allowing fast, compliant and secure settlement. The company explains that — since the funds never leave the custodian’s wallet — this method eliminates counterparty risk:

“Until now, in a digital asset trade, one party needed to assume all of the risk and act on the counterparty’s good faith, and this doesn’t really work for institutional investors.”

Furthermore, BitGo highlights that this method does not require moving assets from cold storage, which has a positive impact on security. Lastly, the company notes that after the settlement is complete, the crypto assets are redeemable on-chain.

As Cointelegraph reported in April, BitGo has gained a further security certification from an external auditor after a review of its compliance.

In March, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission called for industry input as it is potentially reconsidering existing custody rules in specific cases of digital asset trading and settlement.

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BitGo Hires Wall Street High-Frequency Trader as Head of Financial Services

Blockchain security and cryptocurrency custody firm BitGo has appointed a Wall Street high-frequency trader as its head of financial services.

Blockchain security and cryptocurrency custody firm BitGo has appointed a veteran Wall Street trader as its head of financial services, according to a press release published on May 9.

The new hire, Nick Carmi, joins BitGo after a reported 25 years of experience as a financial executive. His most recent role was as Global Head of FICC Business at the high-frequency trading firm Tower Research Capital — founded by former Credit Suisse proprietary trader Mark Gorton.

According to a statement from BitGo CEO Mike Belshe, the hire was spurred by an intent to forge a stronger connection between technologically innovative digital assets and the traditional financial sphere. The CEO outlined that the new head of financial services “brings a wealth of industry knowledge and has built these types of systems before.” He added:

“Nick will be critical to our future progress, helping us meet the existing needs of traditional clients while also helping us build a better financial market of the future in ways that can only be done with digital assets.”

According to the press release, Carmi’s previous role saw him running Tower Research Capital’s FX and FI businesses, where he was reportedly tasked with overseeing operational risk, prime brokers’ leverage and counterparty trading limits, as well as fostering access to new products that included NDFs, CCY Options and cryptocurrencies.

Before Tower, BitGo’s new head of financial services was reportedly director in Listed and OTC Clearing Sales at Deutsche Bank, where he was involved in the establishment of Fixed Income Prime Brokerage for Treasury and Repo services as well as aiding Deutsche Bank’s Equity Derivative Franchise to build an OCC clearing service.

His earlier experience reportedly spans experience at multiple financial institutions globally, including Barclays, Lehman Brothers, UBS and Credit Suisse.

As reported just yesterday, European crypto exchange Bitstamp has hired a former Coinbase executive with years of experience in the world of traditional finance, including at Barclays and at institutional-grade financial company RBC Capital Markets. The new hire will serve as Bitstamp’s head of United States operations.

In late April, BitGO sealed a further security certification from Big Four auditor Deloitte, after a review of its compliance, having been found to fulfil the requirements for a service organization control (SOC) 2 Type 2 certification.

Also in April, BitGo began providing its custody and multi-signature wallet services to a newly launched, institutional investor focused digital asset trading platform, LGO Markets.