Cryptocurrencies

PayPal-Backed Blockchain Analytics Firm Hires Former US Treasury Adviser

TRM Labs' Ari Redbord

Blockchain analytics firm TRM Labs has appointed former U.S. Treasury and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) heavyweight Ari Redbord to help build the firm’s risk-based anti-money laundering (AML) programs for cryptocurrency and digital assets.

Redbord joins TRM Labs as the company’s head of legal and government affairs. At Treasury, he served as a senior adviser to the under secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. His resume also includes stints at FinCEN and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), in areas related to cryptocurrency. 

Blockchain analytics is a hot space with the likes of Chainalysis tying up with law enforcement, Elliptic forensically following illicit money around the crypto ecosystem and CipherTrace building “travel rule” solutions and monitoring crypto compliance regimes. 

Related: PayPal’s Crypto Offering May Be ‘a Huge Headache’ for Taxpayers

So does the hire of Redbord mean TRM Labs is positioning itself alongside government crime-fighting agencies and law enforcement? 

“I don’t think the focus will just be on the long arm of the law,” said Redbord. “Actually, I think in a way it’s quite the opposite, because a company like TRM allows for less regulation, quite frankly, by allowing governments around the world to be more comfortable that they are able to identify suspicious activity and get those bad actors out of this.”

Read more: PayPal Joins $4.2M Round for Crypto Banking Compliance Startup

The analytics firm’s data insights can be applied evenly to three different segments, said Esteban Castaño, TRM’s co-founder and CEO. Those are government organizations, including regulatory and law enforcement, cryptocurrency businesses and traditional financial institutions that may not custody crypto directly, but are exposed to the cryptocurrency risk, he said.

Related: PayPal Cuts Service to Crypto-Funded Domain Registrar Hosting Right-Wing Sites

“It maybe goes against traditional startup wisdom to serve different types of customers, but we can deliver insights around the risk of an individual address and individual transaction or a cryptocurrency business as a whole,” said Castaño.

Founded in 2018, TRM is backed by PayPal, Initialized Capital, Blockchain Capital and Y Combinator. 

Castaño would not be drawn on the possibility of providing data insights to PayPal, but said he was “thrilled” by the fintech giant’s recent crypto announcement and “eager to see their journey.”

Related Stories

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Latest Cryptocurrencies Videos

    CoinDesk

    CoinDesk is the leading digital media, events and information services company for the crypto asset and blockchain technology community. Its mandate is to inform, educate and connect the global community as the authoritative daily news provider dedicated to chronicling the space. Founded in May 2013, CoinDesk reaches millions interested in blockchain technology thru its website, social media, newsletters, podcasts and video. CoinDesk created the original reference rate known as the Bitcoin Price Index which is widely sourced in the media including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, CNBC and many others on a daily basis.

    Learn More