Compliance Veteran Angelina Kwan Leaves BitMex Amid CFTC Probe

The move came a few weeks after the CFTC launched probes into whether BitMEX allowed US investors to trade crypto

Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange BitMex has reportedly parted ways with its chief operating officer Angelina Kwan, the former compliance head at Hong Kong exchange, who has taken the role less than a year ago.

The move came a few weeks after the CFTC launched an investigation into whether BitMEX has allowed US investors to trade crypto derivatives on its platform. At the time, Bloomberg reported that this probe is ongoing and will last a few months.

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The exchange was also hit by the UK advertising regulator for publishing a “misleading” graph that showcased Bitcoin price movement over a decade on the front page of a national newspaper.

Kwan, which has significant regulatory compliance experience, including eight years with the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC), is currently on a “garden leave,” where she is instructed to stay away from work during the notice period, but still remaining on the payroll.

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Kwan has brought to the derivative exchange over two decades of experience in the traditional finance and funds compliance industry, ranging from retail securities trading to asset management. During her short stint, she was tasked with overseeing and managing all of BitMex’s relevant compliance issues, which was meant to offer some encouragement to crypto investors as the space looks for signs of increasing institutional involvement.

Hiring spree from mainstream finance

For the past three years, Kwan served as the HKEX’s managing director and head of regulatory compliance.

At the time, BitMex, which handled nearly $3.6 billion in bitcoin trading volumes over the past 24 hours, said the hire reflected its commitment to compliance, as well as its recognition that companies require seasoned teams to deal with regulatory requirements in different countries.

Kwan’s appointment also came as the exchange was intended to provide further crypto trading products in Hong Kong, and thus her expertise and experience were required to ensure that it can understand and meet relevant regulatory compliance standards.

These new hires from mainstream finance firms respond to the recent calls to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges, which are gathering steam with several regulators now requiring the operators of such venues to perform the same level of client due diligence as banks do.

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