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Former UK finance minister joins Coinbase crypto exchange as an advisor

LONDON — A former British finance minister on Wednesday joined cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase as a global advisor, beefing up the company's regulatory bargaining power at a time when it faces severe scrutiny stateside.

Coinbase announced that George Osborne, who served as Britain's chancellor of the exchequer from 2010 to 2016, will join the company on its global advisory council.

He'll join the likes of Mark Esper, the former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Patrick Toomey (R-PA) on the council, which is in place to "advise Coinbase on our global strategy as we grow our reach around the world."

Faryar Shirzad, Coinbase's chief policy officer, said the company was "pleased to have George join our council at an exciting time for us in the U.K. and globally."

"George brings with him a wealth of experience in business, journalism and government. We look forward to relying on his insights and experiences as we grow Coinbase around the world," Shirzard added.

Osborne will serve in an advisory capacity at Coinbase, helping connect the company with politicians and regulators to help further the cause of forming crypto-friendly regulations.

While chancellor of the exchequer, Osborne launched a slew of austerity policies aimed at reducing the budget deficit, including freezing child benefits, reducing housing benefits, and implementing a two-year pay freeze for public sector workers. He also tried to stimulate business activity by cutting corporation tax.

Osborne was temporarily editor-in-chief at London's Evening Standard newspaper after completing his tenure as Britain's finance minister. He is currently a partner at Robey Warshaw LLP, a boutique investment bank.

"There's a huge amount of exciting innovation in finance right now,"