Marco Santori, one of the influential lawyers to represent blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses, is joining Kraken, one of the world’s longest-operating crypto platforms, as its top in-house lawyer.
Announced today, Santori has been appointed to the role of Kraken’s chief legal officer where he leverages his experience with regulators, banks, payment service providers, broker-dealers, and to “drive the next phase of Kraken’s growth,” the exchange said in a statement touting his hire. He also serves as a as general counsel for Payward Inc., the parent company of Kraken.
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Santori, who blockchainers have nicknamed the ‘Dean of Digital Currency Lawyers,’ assumes the role from Mary Beth Buchanan, a former federal prosecutor, who left in February to take on an analogous position at rival exchange Bitstamp. Marco most recently parted ways with Blockchain.com, an early entrant in the crypto space and one of the industry’s best-known wallet providers. The bitcoin-services company named the controversial attorney as its president and chief legal officer in 2018, replacing co-founder Nicolas Cary.
Prior to Blockchain, Santori had been a partner at the law firm Cooley LLP since November 2016, where he built a digital assets-focused legal practice. He also worked as an advisor to the International Monetary Fund and is best known in the crypto space as the developer of the Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT), a legal framework that allows ICOs issuers raise funds without extensive legal filings.
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In a blog post, Kraken welcomed Santori saying they were thrilled to have the prominent advocate of the digital asset revolution. The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange notes that Santori’s impressive legal background allows him to continue his role as a prominent spokesperson for the entire crypto industry.
Asked on how his work with regulators helped drive crypto adoption, Santori explained “If it wasn’t for the work of the early crypto lawyers, digital currencies would be illegal in the US and most of the world. In the early days of crypto law, most regulators and policymakers struggled to find any redeeming qualities in decentralized value networks. Our work over the years has not only communicated the potential for these technologies, but also guided reasonable new policymaking that will foster their growth.”
Kraken has recently lined up several crypto influencers as the exchange is introducing more products to its customer base, including most recently FX trading.
CoinDesk’s former editor in chief Pete Rizzo, who left the blockchain industry news source in September, joined Kraken in January, assuming its newly-created role as ‘Editor-at-Large,’ tasked with Kraken’s content affairs.