After indictments from regulators in the United States, BitMEX, the top crypto derivatives exchange has been undergoing a shakeup recently. In the latest changes, the company has appointed a new chief executive as it wants to stabilize its operations moving forward. The parent company of BitMEX, 100xGroup announced that they had taken on a German stock exchange expert, Alexander Hoptner as the new CEO for the crypto derivatives exchange. Hoptner will take his new position from January 2021 and he served as the German stock exchange Borse Stuttgart GmbH. Apart from his new role at BitMEX, he will also join the firm’s board of directors.
Moreover, he will be directly reporting to David Wong, the chairman of the board. Hoptner is taking over the position from Vivien Khoo, who was serving as the interim chief executive, and had been promoted from her position of chief operations officer, considering the emergency. Discussing his new appointment, Hoptner said that he was looking forward to being a part of the 100x Group. He praised the boldness and audacity of the founders and explained that he wanted to be a part of their mission to improve millions of lives via cryptocurrencies. The new CEO also added that he would be focusing on developing a firm that is innovative, as well as regulatory-compliant.
Hoptner wants to focus on fairness for both institutional and retail investors and it appears that he is interested in developing a better relationship with regulators across the board. This new hire is another one in the series of changes that have been made at BitMEX, since two federal agencies in the US indicted the exchange. The first change was made in the middle of October, when four of the firm’s executives were accused by the Department of Justice of targeting US traders deliberately, even though the exchange was not licensed to operate there.
These executives included Samuel Reed, Ben Delo, Gregory Dwyer, and CEO Arthur Hayes. Other charges that were brought against BitMEX included subpar know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) security policies. According to the Justice Department, this meant that the company was knowingly enabling fraudsters and criminals to launder their money via its platform. The same day, a complaint was filed with the Southern District of New York by the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), alleging that the exchange had offered leverage to American clients illegally.
It was highlighted by the CFTC that since its launch in 2014, BitMEX’s leverage had exceeded $1 trillion. It was additionally alleged by the CFTC that the Bank Secrecy Act had also been violated by the executives. It sought injunctions, disgorgement, and civil penalties against any future violations, along with permanent trading bans. If the executives are convicted, they would have to pay $250,000 in fines and spend five years in prison. Since then, BitMEX has been making changes, as the parent company fired Reed, Hayes, and Delo. Dwyer has gone on indefinite leave and there is a low probability that he will return.