BitMEX hires Malcom Wright as chief compliance officer following US criminal charges

BitMEX digital currency exchange now has a new chief compliance officer. The new appointment, Malcom Wright, brings three decades’ worth of experience in compliance and anti-money laundering practices.

The hiring of Malcom Wright is the latest response by BitMEX and its parent company to the legal crackdown by U.S. regulators on its business practices. In response, BitMEX reshuffled its leadership following the criminal charges by the Department of Justice, with Arthur Hayes stepping down as the CEO and Vivien Khoo taking over in an interim capacity.

In its blog post, 100x Group termed the new appointment “a noteworthy milestone for us as we move towards completion of our User Verification Programme and further enhance our compliance function.”

Wright will report directly to Khoo, who has been in charge of compliance and regulatory relations in her previous position as the chief operating officer.

Before joining BitMEX, Wright served as the chair of the advisory council at Global Digital Finance, an industry body that promotes adoption of the best practices in the digital currency and fintech industries. He was also the chief compliance officer at digital currency friendly banking app Revolut and EQUOS, a Singaporean digital currency exchange.

Wright commented, “For me, compliance is non-negotiable, and a prerequisite for exchanges to be embraced by regulators and institutional investors alike. My vision is for 100x Group, through the BitMEX platform, to play a lead role in shaping how this industry collaborates with regulators to ensure everyone can safely avail of digital markets.”

While appointing the compliance veteran is a great step for BitMEX, it might be a little too late for the derivatives trading platform. Months after the CFTC started investigating the exchange, it finally filed a civil suit against BitMEX two weeks ago. The DoJ followed suit, filing criminal charges against the exchange for violating the Bank Secrecy Act.

BitMEX founders Arthur Hayes, Samuel Reed and Benjamin Delo are now all looking at a maximum of ten years in prison if convicted, with the DoJ charging each with one count of violating the Bank Secrecy Act and one count of conspiring to violate the Bank Secrecy Act. While unveiling the charges, the DoJ accused the BitMEX executives of “wilfully failing to establish, implement, and maintain an adequate anti-money laundering program.”

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