Blockchain Australia’s new CEO, Laura Mercurio, has left the membership organization after just three months
An experienced investment banker whose resume includes global investment banks including BlackRock, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank), fintechs, and various government and regulatory agencies, took over from Steve Vallas in mid-September.
Blockchain Australia is the premier industry association for businesses in the digital economy through blockchain.
The AFR reported Mercurio’s departure, with the organization confirming she was “no longer with” the company.
Startup Daily reached out to Blockchain Australia for comment, but received no response. The organization is hosting its annual awards, The Blockies, in Melbourne tonight.
At the time of Mercurio’s appointment, the organization said it was entering “a period of significant regulatory and policy deliberation that will shape the regulatory future of digital assets in Australia”.
Board Chairman Adam Poulton then welcomed her, saying “Laura brings a unique passion, energy and enthusiasm for the role and all things Blockchain, and the Board looks forward to working with Laura for years to come.”
Blockchain Australia’s board has recently been revamped, with five directors, including BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler and Blockchain Collective founder Austin Lewinsmith, stepping aside and being replaced by John O’Loghlen, Country Director of Coinbase,
Rob Allen, SVP Ecosystem Acceleration of The HBAR Foundation, Katrina Donaghy, CEO of Civic Ledger, Greg Valles, MD of Valles Accountants, and Jules Dickinson, co-founder of BetaCarbon.
The change comes amid turmoil in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector in the wake of several high-profile failures worldwide, most notably crypto exchange FTX, which operated in Australia, FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested yesterday by the police in the Bahamas on behalf of US authorities.
FTX Australia was a member of Blockchain Australia before resigning on the eve of the company’s signing on Nov. 11.
Today, Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers announced that the government will introduce regulation for crypto service providers next year, along with additional safeguards for investors. Chalmers said the government will release a consultation paper in early 2023 on digital assets to be regulated by financial services laws and the development of appropriate custodial and licensing institutions to protect consumers before the legislation is introduced in 2023.