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Andreessen Horowitz-Backed Crypto Vault Adds New Legal Chief (1)

Oct. 6, 2020, 10:01 AMUpdated: Oct. 6, 2020, 2:50 PM

Anchorage Hold LLC, a cryptocurrency custodian backed by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, has added new general counsel in Georgia Quinn.

Quinn spent nearly the past three years as legal chief for Amalgamated Token Services Inc., a San Francisco-based company better known as CoinList that handles cryptocurrency token sales and initial coin offerings. She succeeds Kathryn “Katie” Biber, a former top lawyer to Sen. Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign who left Anchorage in July to become general counsel at fintech company Brex Inc.

Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks, a former general counsel at cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Inc., last month issued guidance allowing banks to hold cash deposits against stablecoins. In a related announcement, the Securities and Exchange Commission said that securities laws might not apply to stablecoins.

Both moves were welcomed by digital asset exchanges and startups eager for regulators to embrace innovation in the financial services space. San Francisco-based Anchorage is among those seeking to take advantage of such changes.

“Anchorage is uniquely situated to capitalize on these new regulatory developments,” added Quinn, who prior to joining CoinList was a co-founder and CEO of iDisclose, a legal technology company that helped small businesses and startups raise capital.

Crypto Outlook

Quinn will oversee Anchorage’s relationships with the SEC and Financial industry Regulatory Authority. She said the recent letters issued by the SEC and OCC will help Anchorage do business with banks, broker-dealers, and other financial institutions.

Advocates for cryptocurrencies have historically skewed Republican and libertarian, said Quinn, acknowledging that the political climate could have ramifications for cryptocurrencies going forward. But most federal regulatory bodies have little turnover at the staff level, even if there is a change in the White House following the election in November.

Quinn is holding out hope for a bipartisan push to craft regulations for the evolving industry, as well as for a Congress “where we can actually pass legislation,” she said. “We’re really at an inflection point.”

At Anchorage, which Quinn joined Sept. 14, she will work closely with Jennifer Liu, a former CFO at cryptocurrency trading platform LedgerX LLC who joined the company over the summer as general manager for New York. Liu is leading Anchorage’s cryptocurrency asset lending program.

Big Business

Anchorage is privately held and one of several cryptocurrency investments by Andreessen Horowitz, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm that in 2018 hired former federal prosecutor Kathryn “Katie” Haun as its first female general partner. Haun now co-manages a $515 million cryptocurrency fund at Andreessen Horowitz, its second such fund in two years.

Another investor in Anchorage is Visa Inc., which just recruited a legal chief for its newly acquired fintech subsidiary Plaid Inc. Visa and Andreessen Horowitz took part in a $40 million Series B fundraising round for Anchorage last year.

Quinn declined to discuss outside counsel used by Anchorage, but said the company has 12 in-house legal and compliance employees, among them deputy general counsel Nicole Farrar and senior counsel Catherine Ngo and Christina Spiliakos.

In September, Anchorage reached an agreement to create a digital asset bank in Bermuda, an overseas British territory delving into the global cryptocurrency market.

Anchorage, which last year chose Sioux Falls, S.D., as its second headquarters—the city is home to its trust company—is also a member of the Libra Association, a digital currency group that in August recruited a new top lawyer, three months after naming former HSBC Holdings PLC legal chief Stuart Levey as its CEO.

(Clarifies name of CoinList's parent company in second paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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