Bison Trails Co., a founding member of digital currency group the Libra Association, has recruited a former in-house lawyer from
Elizabeth Ralston began working remotely as Bison Trails’ first in-house lawyer last month, she told Bloomberg Law. The move comes eight months after the company—founded in October 2018 and backed by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins—raised nearly $26 million in a Series C funding round led by Blockchain Capital LLC and Coinbase Ventures, an affiliate of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Inc.
In July, Coinbase recruited Paul Grewal, a former deputy general counsel at
“As a young and growing industry, it’s important that members engage with global policymakers to help educate and influence the regulations and policies that will undoubtedly have an effect on our future,” Bison Trails founder and CEO Joe Lallouz said in a statement touting Ralston’s hire.
Ralston, who spent four years in Goldman’s legal department, comes to Bison Trails after two-and-a-half years as the sole in-house lawyer at BlockTower Capital Advisors LLP. The Stamford, Conn.-based cryptocurrency and blockchain investment firm was started in 2017 by former Goldman investment manager Matthew Goetz.
Ralston was BlockTower’s legal and compliance director, a role that saw her handle fund formation and regulatory work, as well as negotiate numerous agreements with other cryptocurrency exchanges, custodians, OTC desks, and software and service providers.
Lallouz touted Ralston’s experience at BlockTower navigating an emerging regulatory environment for digital currencies. He said Ralston “will help drive strategy and operations as they intersect with risk, legal, policy, and compliance.”
Bison Trails is a member of Libra and the Celo Alliance for Prosperity, a rival global cryptocurrency group seeking to use digital assets as a means of increasing financial access and inclusion.
Ralston declined to discuss Bison Trails’ involvement in those organizations, which have attracted the attention of regulators over their efforts to broaden the appeal of virtual currencies.
In May, Libra hired financial crimes compliance expert Robert Werner as general counsel, a move that followed Libra’s addition of CEO Stuart Levey, Werner’s former colleague at the Treasury Department and
Ralston said she’ll be doing some policy work at Bison Trails to try and clear the regulatory cloud that surrounds cryptocurrencies. Gunderson Dettmer has been a primary legal adviser to Bison Trails early on, said Ralston, adding she expects to reach out to other law firms to help her engage…