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BitMEX Hires Ex-Coinbase Executive Hughes as Head of Risk

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  • COIN

(Bloomberg) -- Cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX, whose operators last year agreed to pay up to $100 million to settle allegations of allowing illegal trading and breach of anti-money laundering rules, hired former Coinbase Global Inc. executive Marcus Hughes as chief risk officer.

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Hughes, who reports to Chief Executive Officer Alexander Hoptner, will lead engagement with regulators and policymakers and build out BitMEX’s risk framework and compliance programs as it expands into new markets, according to a blog post.

The BitMEX settlement with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in August resolved one of the first big cases in a U.S. crackdown on some activity around digital tokens. Regulators across the world are vowing to tighten controls just as institutional participation in crypto trading increases.

“2022 will be a crucial year for the entire industry on the regulatory front,” Hughes said in emailed comments. “Early and constructive engagement with regulators and governments is essential.”

Hughes, a former executive director at Morgan Stanley, joined Coinbase in 2018.

Once the largest crypto-derivatives exchange, BitMEX was ranked 11th by 24-hour open interest according to CoinGecko data on Thursday. The firm is working to expand beyond derivatives, with the addition of business segments including spot, brokerage and custody, Hoptner said in a blog post in April.

In last year’s settlement, BitMEX’s operators neither admitted nor denied the allegations brought by the regulators.

(Updates with Hughes’s career history in fifth paragraph. A previous version of this story was corrected to remove a reference to Coinbase having paid the full settlement.)

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