Top crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX has been amid an operations shakeup following indictments from regulators in the U.S. In the latest change, the firm has appointed a new CEO as it hopes to stabilize its operations going forward.
Meet Alexander Hoptner
Earlier today, 100x Group, the parent company of crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX, has announced that Alexander Hoptner, a German stock exchange expert, will be its new CEO. Hoptner is the former German stock exchange Borse Stuttgart GmbH, and he will take his new position from January 2021.
Along with his new role, Hoptner will also join the company’s board of directors, reporting directly to the board’s chairman, David Wong. He is taking over from the company’s interim chief executive, Vivien Khoo, who was promoted from chief operations officer in an emergency.
Speaking on his new appointment, Hoptner explained that he was excited to join 100x Group. He praised the founders’ audacity and boldness, explaining that he bought into their vision to improve millions’ lives through cryptocurrencies.
The new CEO also highlighted that he would focus on developing a company that is regulatory-compliant and innovative. With a focus on fairness for retail and institutional investors, Hoptner appears to be looking to build better relations with regulators across the board.
A New-Look BitMEX
The new hire follows a string of changes that the company has made since it was indited by two federal agencies in the United States. The first charge came in mid-October, with the Department of Justice accusing four of the company’s executives – former CEO Arthur Hayes, Gregory Dwyer, Ben Delo, and Samuel Reed – of deliberately targeting U.S.-based traders despite not being licensed to operate in the country.
BitMEX also faced charges of implementing subpar anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) security policies. The Justice Department added that by doing this, the firm was knowingly enabling criminals and fraudsters to launder their cash through its platform.
The same day, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed a complaint with the Southern District of New York, alleging that BitMEX had illegally offered leverage to American traders. The CFTC highlighted that the exchange’s leverage had amounted to over $1 trillion since its inception in 2014.
The CFTC additionally alleged that the executives had violated the Bank Secrecy Act. It sought civil penalties, disgorgement, injunctions against future violations, and even permanent trading bans for them all. A conviction could also see them spend five years in prison and pay up to $250,000 in fines.
Since then, BitMEX has cleaned house. In the days following the indictments, 100x Group fired Hayes, Reed, and Delo. Dwyer, the company’s Head of Business Development, was placed on indefinite leave. However, there’s a low probability that he would return anytime soon.
The exchange also announced this month that it had partnered with compliance and software firm Eventus Systems to improve its AML transaction and trade surveillance capabilities. The announcement claimed that BitMEX would integrate Eventus’ Validus technology into its infrastructure to provide a “safe and secure trading environment” for users.