BitMEX Crypto Exchange Picks Veteran Hong Kong Regulator Expert As New Chief Operating Officer


BitMEX, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, just took a major step towards making itself more compliant. The Hong Kong-based exchange appointed Angelina Kwan, a veteran financial regulator, as its Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Angelina Kwan is a veteran of Hong Kong’s financial regulation space. By appointing Kwan as COO, BitMEX is hoping to gain help navigating the complex global regulatory landscape facing cryptocurrency exchanges.

BitMEX has become one of several major crypto exchanges to poach talent from the world of traditional finance. As cryptocurrency exchanges grow in scale and begin catering to customers worldwide, they’re encountering compliancy difficulties along the way. By hiring veterans of traditional finance like Angelina Kwan, exchanges like BitMEX can reduce regulatory hurdles.

Kwan previously served as the Head of Regulatory Compliance for Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, a financial services firm. She worked for the firm from early 2015 until August 2018 before being appointed as COO of BitMEX.

Kwan is also a certified public accountant and has previously served at various brokerage firms.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Kwan expressed hope that her previous experience would be used to build constructive partnerships between BitMEX and global regulators:

“I hope my previous experience will help in establishing a constructive dialogue with the various regulatory authorities around the world over the development of regulation in the cryptocurrency industry.”

Kwan also argued that the lack of regulatory clarity is preventing investors from getting involved in the space. Kwan claims that the regulatory environment in the United States has fostered the growth of crypto investing in the country in contrast to the regulatory environments at other countries worldwide:

“The U.S. has introduced regulations over cryptocurrency [and that has led to] futures products trading at the CME Group and the CBOT… This shows that a regulatory authority can help to develop a new industry.”

Interestingly, American cryptocurrency firms frequently criticize their country’s approach to crypto regulations, claiming that Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Malta are adopting more crypto-friendly regulations.

These are exciting times for BitMEX. The company is quickly becoming one of Hong Kong’s most notable financial firms. In August, BitMEX made headlines for moving its headquarters to the Cheung Kong Center in downtown Hong Kong. The tower has the most expensive real estate on the planet. BitMEX’s office space in the tower is important for other reasons, however: the tower is also home to the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, which is the Hong Kong equivalent of the SEC or CFTC.

The next time BitMEX and new COO Angelina Kwan need to discuss crypto regulations for the exchange, they only need to go downstairs to find the territory’s most powerful regulatory authority.

Despite controversy over various aspects of BitMEX’s trading activity, the Hong Kong-based exchange remains one of the world’s most popular exchanges by trading volume, currently accounting for over $1 billion of daily crypto trading activity and ranking among the largest crypto exchanges in the world.

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