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Bitcoin: Former Goldman Sachs exec to join trading firm Circle



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  • Circle has brought on Benedicte Nolens to help it
    navigate the murky regulatory waters as it expands globally and
    into new products. 
  • She previously was a regulator in Hong Kong and a
    Goldman Sachs executive. 

Circle, the cryptocurrency exchange operator, has snagged a
former Goldman Sachs executive to help navigate the murky
regulatory waters as it expands globally, Business Insider has

Benedicte Nolens, who joined the firm directly from Hong Kong’s
Securities and Futures Commission, has been named Circle’s head
of global regulatory affairs, as well as head of compliance for
its operations in Europe and Asia. 

Previously, Nolens was an executive director at Goldman Sachs,
working at the firm for more than a decade. She also once served
as chief compliance officer for Credit Suisse, the Swiss bank.

She joins Circle as it seeks to expand its business globally.
Already, the exchange has recently moved into Asia with offices
in Hong Kong and Beijing. Its over-the-counter trading operation,
which began operating in the region earlier this year, has grown
at a fast clip, making up about 30% of its $2 billion of global
monthly trading volume.

Nolens joins the firm as it hires regulatory heavy-weights
to expand product lines and grows into new markets, chief
executive Jeremy Allaire told Business Insider in an

Circle operates a number of crypto businesses, including an
exchange and retail broker. It is also looking to break into the
world of securities tokens, which would allow it to trade
crypto-based assets registered as securities similar to

“We want to make sure we can work with businesses that want
to launch a tokenized security, and we want to support them by
providing platforms where they can do that,” Allaire said. “We
are making sure we have the products and the regulatory framework
in place to support crypto-commodities but also these

It’s not clear when crypto-companies will have the
clearance from regulators to conduct trading of these securities.
Coinbase had told Bloomberg it got the green-light,
only to clarify a day later
that regulators in the US had not
given them permission. 

Still, Nolens is hopeful and excited to work with
regulators over the next 12 months, a period which she thinks
will be more about figuring things out than the issuance of clear

“Over there 12 months there is a lot of room to grow and we are
involved in regulatory meetings globally where they are thinking
about the best way to approach the space,” Nolens said. “And I
will say in my own opinion both when I was a regulator, and now,
they are generally looking on a global scale, keeping an open
mind about the space.”

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