Brian Brooks has previously held positions at Binance and in the US government
Bitfury Group yesterday confirmed the hire of former Comptroller and Binance US chief executive Brian as the firm’s next chief executive. Brooks, who was appointed at the end of last week, takes over from Valery Vavilov, who founded the cryptocurrency mining company back in 2011. He is expected to lead the Amsterdam-based bitcoin manufacturer through its planned expansion phase.
“With an eye toward the next phase in our evolution, we are thrilled to welcome Brian to the Company,” the company wrote. “Brian is a respected executive and thought leader with deep regulatory, digital asset and capital markets expertise who shares Bitfury’s vision for a decentralised peer-to-peer economy.“
Vavilov will not entirely be leaving the company. He will chair the board of directors while serving as the company’s chief vision officer. The leading bitcoin mining hardware and blockchain services provider already runs operations from other locations, including Canada, Central Asia, and Iceland.
Brooks makes a return to the crypto scene
Brooks, a lawyer and entrepreneur, has led a diverse career cutting across the law, banking and technology fields. He resigned from his executive position in the US arm of Binance in August after three months in the job, citing ‘differences over strategic directions.’ Before taking the helms at Binance US, he had worked as a government official – heading the Comptroller of the Currency office between May 2020 and January 2021.
His most significant act in the office was signing off on allowing chartered banks to custody digital assets. He had also worked in the office for about a month as the Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief Operating Officer before his appointment. Brooks also worked at Washington-based global law firm O’Melveny & Myers, OneWest Bank, Fannie Mae, and Coinbase in different capacities
Speaking on his appointment, Brooks noted, “Bitfury is an established leader in the digital asset industry […] I look forward to working alongside Valery and Bitfury’s highly experienced leadership team to grow the Company’s core businesses and scale its portfolio of new innovations.”
Bitfury moving forward with IPO plans
Bitfury is reportedly preparing to conduct a funding round that will facilitate its expansion plans. Last month, the then chief executive Vavilov hinted that the company’s next fundraising might take the form of a public offering. The mining firm previously completed an $80 million raise at a $1 billion valuation in 2018.
If it proceeds with its IPO plans, it will likely become the biggest cryptocurrency-related listing for a Europe-based firm. The firm is said to have acquired the services of Deloitte for the move. Reports suggest that Aussie bank Macquarie, as well as crypto billionaire and ex-hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz, are the principal backers of the firm. Novogratz, the founder, and chief executive of the digital asset investment firm Galaxy Digital, made a significant investment in the firm in 2018.