Ben Gray said he hopes to double Paxos’s six-person legal team and grow the compliance operation in the next year. He spent more than six years at Block, which is run by former Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey.
“The most exciting part of fintech for me is really building the future,” Gray said in an interview. “What Paxos is doing in leveraging blockchain to modernize legacy infrastructure to me has the potential to be a once-in-a-generation achievement.”
Paxos’s announcement Thursday came as Block suffered its second consecutive day of more than 10% stock drops. Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc.’s disappointing earnings and European Central Bank inflation concerns sent stocks down, Bloomberg News reported.
San Francisco-based Block, where Gray also held the title of deputy general counsel, is facing a lawsuit from H&R Block Inc. alleging a violation of the tax preparation company’s “Block” trademark. Square revealed Dec. 1 it was changing its name to Block.
Paxos provides business-to-business infrastructure for cryptocurrency. Its partners include PayPal Holdings Inc., Meta Platforms, Mastercard Inc., the Bank of America Corp., and Credit Suisse Group AG, according to the company’s statement.
Paxos hired its first government policy consulting firm in recent months as the industry faces potential regulations and legislation.
“Blockchain-based infrastructure will power the financial markets of the future,” Charles Cascarilla, the Paxos chief executive officer and co-founder, said in the statement.
Gray started his new job as global general counsel on Jan. 31. He has also worked for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Washington firm Schwartz & Ballen LLP, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
New York-based Paxos’s former general counsel, Dan Burstein, will remain at the company as U.S. general counsel.