BlackRock, Goldman Sachs Veteran Joins Blockchain as General Counsel

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BlackRock and Goldman Sachs veteran Howard Surloff has joined major crypto wallet provider Blockchain.com as general counsel.

Over 25 years in traditional finance

After serving over 25 years the two of the world’s largest and most respected financial institutions, Surloff will now be responsible for advancing Blockchain’s standard for legal, compliance and corporate governance within the crypto industry, the firm announced on Oct. 1.

Prior to entering the crypto industry, Surloff worked at BlackRock for 12 years, the world’s largest exchange-traded fund provider, according to his LinkedIn page. At BlackRock, Surloff was long-serving Deputy General Counsel before he was appointed as Global Chief Operating Officer of BlackRock’s iShares and Index business, with over $4.4 trillion in assets and 800 employees globally, the report notes.

Before joining BlackRock, the Wall Street veteran worked for over 12 years at Goldman Sachs, serving as Managing Director and General Counsel for the US Asset Management Division. In this capacity, he reportedly oversaw legal strategy and structuring across more than 1000 investment products.

BlackRock and Goldman Sachs in crypto

Meanwhile, both BlackRock and Goldman Sachs have expressed their interest in Bitcoin (BTC) and its underlying blockchain technology. Most recently, Goldman Sachs provided a bullish forecast for Bitcoin price in a note to customers on Aug. 11, suggesting a short-term target of $13,971. In July 2019, the company revealed its apparent intentions to set up a new crypto project by posting a job listing seeking a Digital Asset Project Manager under the aegis of the bank’s GS Accelerate in-house incubator program.

In 2018, BlackRock reportedly announced the formation of a working group to evaluate potential involvement in Bitcoin, including investments in Bitcoin futures. In August 2019, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink claimed that he does not consider Facebook’s Libra a cryptocurrency, arguing that the world does not need Libra but rather the implementation of technology.