BitMEX operator hires chief compliance officer amid US criminal charges

BitMEX operator hires chief compliance officer amid US criminal charges

The hire comes after BitMEX’s founders were charged with failing to prevent money laundering and operating an unregistered trading platform illegally in the United States.

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The operator of crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX, 100x Group, has hired a seasoned Anti-Money Laundering (AML) specialist, Malcolm Wright, as its chief compliance officer.

In an announcement on Oct. 12, the 100x emphasized Wright’s profile as the current chairman of the Advisory Council and AML Working Group at Global Digital Finance, and as a speaker covering key topics that include the Financial Action Task Force’s Recommendations for Virtual Asset Service Providers.

100X Group had last week reshuffled its top leadership, removing BitMEX’s co-founders Arthur Hayes, Samuel Reed and Ben Delo from executive roles. Hayes, Reed and Delo were all charged in a civil enforcement action from the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission for operating an unregistered trading platform in the U.S. and violating AML regulations. 

The Department of Justice has, in parallel, pressed criminal charges against the co-founders, as well as their colleague, Geoff Dwyer, who has subsequently taken a leave of absence from his role as head of business development.

Without explicit reference to the recent charges, 100x Group has officially said that „Malcolm’s appointment is a noteworthy milestone for us as we move towards completion of our User Verification Programme and further enhance our compliance function.“

Wright’s LinkedIn profile indicates he has spent almost two and a half years at Global Finance, in parallel to his roles as an advisory board member for London-based Commercial Passport KYC and as associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, which contributes to policy debates on financial crimes. He is also the founder of the Financial Crime Compliance advisory and a former chief compliance officer at Diginex and EQUOS.

100x Group faces a steep challenge in rehabilitating the exchange’s image. Commentators claim the charges against the BitMEX team have cast their shadow on the wider industry and could trigger a regulatory backlash against the crypto space. 


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The hire comes after BitMEX’s founders were charged with failing to prevent money laundering and operating an unregistered trading platform illegally in the United States.

Coinbase Exec Says Capital Will Flee US Due to Crypto Tax Laws

Coinbase Exec Says Capital Will Flee US Due to Crypto Tax Laws

Coinbase’s chief tax officer Lawrence Zlatkin says global customers are the future as non-U.S. jurisdictions are more open-minded.

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Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, believes other countries are much more open-minded in terms of crypto regulation and taxes than America..

Lawrence Zlatkin, chief tax officer at Coinbase, shared the exchange’s outlook on taxation and the global cryptocurrency market during a Unitize panel on July 7. He was joined on the panel by Fidelity’s senior tax counsel Jessica Reif-Caplan and Deloitte’s global tax leader, Rob Massey.

Lack of crypto taxation clarity

During the discussion, the speakers highlighted the lack of clarity around cryptocurrency taxation in the U.S.. According to the tax experts at Coinbase and Fidelity, the uncertainty is a result of the complex nature of digital assets as well as a huge variety of different types and features of different coins.

Staking — the practice of locking crypto to receive rewards — is just one aspect that poses a big challenge from a tax perspective. “There are so many differences between various digital assets, and staking alone is such a complicated thing to understand if you are not that close to digital assets,” Reif-Caplan noted.

Non-U.S. countries have a more mature view

While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been pushing U.S. citizens to include crypto on their tax returns for years, the authority is yet to provide comprehensive guidelines. Zlatkin said there was a lot of uncertainty around the taxation of staking, but he believed the IRS was likely to label staking rewards as taxable transactions.

Zlatkin said that crypto tax uncertainty in the U.S. is essentially causing an “outflow of capital towards those jurisdictions that have a more mature view on digital technology and digital assets overall.” 

“Staking is a good example,” Zlatkin noted. As such, Coinbase itself, the largest crypto exchange in the U.S., is planning to expand its operations beyond the U.S. market.

According to Zlatkin, Coinbase sees international customers as the future because non-U.S. jurisdictions are “more open-minded”.

“It’s a growth model for us, just where we operate, accessing more customers, being able to trade more assets […] Generally speaking, the most customers in the space particularly would be from major jurisdictions like Canada, U.K., the EU, and within Asia.”

Coinbase has been paying attention to developing its foreign markets for a while. In January 2020, the exchange set up a second Irish firm to expand its crypto custody services to European institutions. Coinbase Custody has been serving European clients in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Finland and the Netherlands since 2018.


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Coinbase’s chief tax officer Lawrence Zlatkin says global customers are the future as non-U.S. jurisdictions are more open-minded.

Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer Resigns to Oversee US National Banking System

Coinbase’s Chief Legal Officer Resigns to Oversee US National Banking System

Coinbase’s chief legal officer is designated by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to serve at major position at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

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Amid an ongoing global health and financial crisis, Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency trading platforms in the United States, is losing another key executive.

Brian Brooks, Coinbase’s chief legal officer will resign from the company to join the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), an independent banking regulator operating under the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the OCC announced on March 16.

Famous crypto skeptic Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appointed Brooks

According to the official announcement, Brooks has been designated as first deputy comptroller — the agency’s second-highest position — by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Brooks will also serve as the OCC’s chief operating officer effective April 1, the announcement reads.

A known sceptic of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Mnuchin outlined Brooks as a “strong leader with extensive experience in the financial services sector,” adding that he is excited to work together to foster the financial system and greater economic growth.

Coinbase is proud that their crypto-friendly legal officer will join the authority 

Coinbase said in an email to Cointelegraph that the company is pleased to know that their legal officer is joining the OCC to oversee the nation’s banking system, noting that Brooks will definitely bring a more friendly stance to crypto with him. Brooks has been leading Coinbase’s legal, compliance, government relations and global investigations groups since September 2018.

Outlining Brooks as “invaluable in shaping the Coinbase legal and compliance programs,” a spokesperson at Coinbase said:

“In the midst of a public health and financial crisis, we are comforted to know that Brian Brooks will serve in this critical role overseeing the nation’s banking system […] We’re always proud of Coinbase alumni who go on to serve in government, bringing a crypto-friendly perspective with them.”

Apart from his departure from Coinbase, Brooks will also step down from the boards of directors of the Federal National Mortgage Association — commonly known as Fannie Mae — and marketplace lender Avant. Prior to joining Coinbase in 2018, Brooks also served as founding advisor at decentralized fintech project Spring Labs, member of the compliance and information security committee at Avant and executive vice president and general counsel at Fannie Mae.

In early March, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said that the U.S. welcomes responsible digital innovation, still emphasizing that the agency is focused on preventing illicit uses of crypto like money laundering and terrorist financing. Reiterating his skepticism of the industry, Mnuchin said that the U.S. “will not tolerate the use of cryptocurrencies in support of illicit activities.”


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Coinbase’s chief legal officer is designated by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to serve at major position at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Gemini Europe Hires New Chief Compliance Officer for Europe Expansion

Gemini Europe Hires New Chief Compliance Officer for Europe Expansion

Gemini cryptocurrency exchange appoints RBS veteran as new chief compliance officer for its push into Europe

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Gemini Europe — the United Kingdom and EU affiliate of the Winklevoss twins’ United States-based crypto exchange Gemini — has appointed a new chief compliance and money laundering reporting officer.

As part of the firm’s expansion into the transatlantic market, the new appointee, Blair Halliday, will oversee Gemini Europe’s compliance program in the region. 

A press release published on Jan. 28 revealed that Halliday will be based in London and report directly to Gemini’s managing director of the U.K. and Europe, the former Sterling Bank executive Julian Sawyer.

A career tackling financial crime

Halliday formerly served as chief compliance officer for crypto finance firm Circle across the Europe and the Middle East and Africa region, where he directed the firm’s global anti-money laundering compliance program.

Prior to this role, he served as executive director of financial crime and compliance at U.K. fintech CashFlows and as CCO at New York Stock Exchange owner International Currency Exchange.  

Before his move into fintech and digital assets, Halliday worked at the Royal Bank of Scotland for 14 years in various roles focused on tackling financial crime.

Rules and “thoughtful regulation”

The Winklevoss’ approach to compliance has in the past drawn some criticism from the more libertarian fringe of the community, as with their “Crypto Needs Rules” ad campaign in 2019, which made a strong bid to remold crypto’s image with an emphasis on robust regulation and compliance-driven market practices.

At the time, a senior Gemini executive said the form believed crypto investors “deserve the exact same protections” and standards as those in traditional markets.

In the platform’s recent stage of European and U.K. expansion, Cameron Winklevoss has continued to emphasize this agenda, writing in a blog post in December 2019 that:

“The concept of thoughtful regulation itself was first developed out of the lessons learned in these [E.U. and U.K.] markets over centuries. Our ethos — to ask permission, not forgiveness — was a first in the crypto industry and both honors and continues to build on Europe and the UK’s tradition of thoughtful regulation.”


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Gemini cryptocurrency exchange appoints RBS veteran as new chief compliance officer for its push into Europe

Crypto Cybersecurity Firm Ledger Hires In-House Security Officer As New CTO

Crypto Cybersecurity Firm Ledger Hires In-House Security Officer As New CTO

Ledger has hired an in-house security officer as chief technology officer to oversee the company’s security operations

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Hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger has hired Charles Guillemet as chief technology officer (CTO) where he will oversee the company’s security operations.

In a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Dec. 5, Ledger said that Guillemet has been in charge of the company’s security assessments for Ledger’s products ever since he started working at the firm in 2017.

Guillemet also founded the company’s security department and evaluation lab, has assessed the security of competitor devices, and has disclosed vulnerabilities that contributed to the security throughout the blockchain ecosystem. Guillemet commented on his new position:

“Throughout my time at Ledger I have had the pleasure of leading a world class team of security researchers that has set the standard for blockchain security. […] Security and technology go hand and hand at Ledger, so my appointment to CTO is a natural extension of the critical work we are doing everyday to improve the security of the products we build.”

Guillemet told Cointelegraph that although security in the blockchain industry has significantly improved, hackers also continue to enhance their tactics. According to the newly appointed CTO, security must continually innovate to keep pace. He concluded:

„At Ledger, we are building sustainable security solutions that allow both individuals and institutions to securely take control of their assets. It is truly an honor to serve as CTO at Ledger and lead the best security and tech teams in the industry.”

Guillemet’s LinkedIn profile further reveals that prior to his position at Ledger, Guillemet worked as a technical manager at CEA, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission. Prior to that he worked as a cryptography and security evaluator at Cesti.

Ledger Vault secures $150 million crime insurance policy 

In November, Ledger Vault, the custody arm of Ledger, procured a crime insurance policy developed with broker and risk advisory firm Marsh and insurance company Arch Insurance Limited. 

The $150 million crime insurance policy applies to third-party theft of the master seed and private keys, secure transmissions of the master seed fragments, and insider Ledger employee theft caused by collusion. Demetrios Skalkotos, global head of Ledger Vault, said at the time:

“The policy also covers the clients’ onboarding process, their personal security devices and the secure encrypted communication channel that is established when using the Vault platform. This unique policy is a true end-to-end solution that gives our customers the flexibility to both store and move funds without compromising on security and governance.”


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Ledger has hired an in-house security officer as chief technology officer to oversee the company’s security operations

“Run Green Finance on Blockchain,” Encourages Chief FinTech Officer of Singapore’s Monetary Authority

“Run Green Finance on Blockchain,” Encourages Chief FinTech Officer of Singapore’s Monetary Authority

Green finance is about monitoring, measuring, and mobilizing finance for green assets

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Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, spoke at BlockShow Asia 2019 about the importance of blockchain for the economy, highlighting its indispensability for the development of green finance.

Mohanty defined green finance as follows: “How to monitor, how to measure, and how to mobilize finance for green assets.” He said blockchain can unite all three components.

Climate change is undoubtedly one of the hottest topics of the 21st century. This week Venice, Italy saw its biggest flood since 1966, and it caused irreversible damage to the city. The recent disaster reveals the inability of current economic initiatives to deal with climate change. Conceived in 2003 to protect the Venetian Lagoon, the MOSE project increased its initial estimated costs from $1.7 billion to $8.1 billion. Its launch has been postponed several times, while allegations of corruption keep swirling around the still-uncompleted project. Though Mohanty didn’t speak specifically about Venice’s troubles, he was clear that blockchain can solve exactly these kinds of problems.

Before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) in December 2019 can mark the culmination of green technology discussions this year, different world leaders and prominent businessmen are sharing their vision for the possible future of the green economy. 

“I bet on sustainability,” said Mohanty. “Run green finance on blockchain.”


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Green finance is about monitoring, measuring, and mobilizing finance for green assets

Chainalysis Appoints Former FinCen Officer as Technical Counsel

Chainalysis Appoints Former FinCen Officer as Technical Counsel

Former FinCen and U.S. DoJ official Michael Mosier has joined blockchain analytical firm Chainalysis as its new Chief Technical Counsel

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Blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis has hired a former official from the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Department of Justice as Chief Technical Counsel, according to a press release published on June 26

Chainalysis has appointed Michael Mosier as its new Chief Technical Counsel. Mosier will now be responsible for legal expertise of Chainalysis products such as data privacy and global anti-money laundering, sanctions, policy, and government issues.

At Chainalysis, Mosier will work closely with Jesse Spiro, Global Head of Policy, who joined the firm from financial information services firm Refinitiv and Kristofer Doucette, Vice President of Government Affairs, who previously served at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in financial intelligence. Commenting on the appointment, Mosier said:

„I am thrilled to join the incredible team at Chainalysis as the Chief Technical Counsel. Having worked across emerging technology, financial integrity, and data privacy matters, the opportunity to bring technical-legal solutions to market to help advance Chainalysis’s mission to build trust in blockchains and help our customers meet their regulatory obligations is the perfect intersection at a seminal moment for all of those areas.“

Earlier this month, the leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance hired a former strategic executive at Dell and the National Basketball Association Gin Chao as its global strategy officer. Chao will reportedly advance the organization’s global strategy, heading initiatives in corporate development, venture investment and its legal departments.

Blockchain security and cryptocurrency custody firm BitGo appointed a veteran Wall Street trader Nick Carmi as its head of financial services. According to a statement from BitGo CEO Mike Belshe, the hire was spurred by an intent to forge a stronger connection between technologically innovative digital assets and the traditional financial sphere.


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Former FinCen and U.S. DoJ official Michael Mosier has joined blockchain analytical firm Chainalysis as its new Chief Technical Counsel