Blockchain Australia’s new CEO, Laura Mercurio, has left after just 3 months – Startup Daily

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Blockchain Australia’s new CEO, Laura Mercurio, has left the member organisation after just three months after taking on the role

An experienced investment banker whose CV includes global investment banks, including BlackRock, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank), fintech’s and various government and regulatory bodies, took over from Steve Vallas in mid September.

Blockchain Australia is the peak industry body for companies in the digital economy through blockchain.

The AFR reported Mercurio’s departure, with the organisation confirming she was “no longer with” the business.

Startup Daily contacted Blockchain Australia for comment but did not receive a response. The organisation is hosting its annual awards, The Blockies, in Melbourne, tonight.

At the time of Mercurio’s appointment, the organisation said it was heading “into a period of significant regulatory and policy consultation that will shape the regulatory future of digital assets in Australia”.

Board chair Adam Poulton welcomed her at the time 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 in the coming years”.

Blockchain Australia’s board was recently refreshed, with five directors, including BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler and Blockchain Collective founder Austin Lewinsmith, stepping aside, 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, cofounder of BetaCarbon.

The change comes amid turmoil in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector in the wake of several high profile failures globally, most notably crypto exchange FTX, which operated in Australia, FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested by police in the Bahamas yesterday on behalf of US authorities.

FTX Australia was a member of Blockchain Australia before resigning on the eve of the business being placed into administration on November 11.

Today federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers announced that the government will introduce regulation for crypto service providers along with additional safeguards for investors next year. Chalmers said the government will release a consultation paper in early 2023 around digital assets should be regulated by financial services laws, and the development of appropriate custody and licensing settings to safeguard consumers, ahead of legislation being introduced in 2023.

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