Crypto Platform BitMEX Taps New Risk Boss

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BitMEX, which last year agreed to a $100 million settlement with U.S. enforcers over compliance issues, has hired Marcus Hughes, a former managing director at Coinbase Global Inc., to serve as the cryptocurrency platform’s new chief risk officer.

Mr. Hughes, who will work between offices in Europe, Asia and North America, will guide the company’s legal strategy, build out its risk and compliance program and engage with regulators and policy makers, BitMEX said Thursday in a blog post.

Mr. Hughes will report directly to BitMEX Chief Executive Alexander Höptner.

The platform in August agreed to a $100 million settlement with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department, and with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The agencies said that BitMEX had failed to maintain a compliant anti-money-laundering program, allowing U.S. customers to access the platform while failing to verify their identities.

BitMEX’s efforts to put a more sure-footed compliance program in place come as it embarks on plans to scale up its business and expand globally.

“The next stage in our evolution will be characterized by an expansion of the platform’s capabilities, paired with an equally ambitious push into markets worldwide,” Mr. Hughes said. He added that “world-class risk management, compliance and regulatory-affairs programs” would be key to the plan.

Before joining BitMEX, Mr. Hughes served as managing director of Coinbase’s European business. He previously spent almost a decade at

Morgan Stanley

as an executive director in its compliance and legal division, according to his LinkedIn profile.

While the SEC hasn’t announced major actions against big crypto exchanges, the commission has threatened to sue companies offering crypto lending. WSJ’s Dion Rabouin explains why this one part of the crypto market has drawn such a strong reaction. Photo: Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

Write to Richard Vanderford at richard.vanderford@wsj.com

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