Alexander Hoeptner, Chief Executive Officer of cryptocurrency futures exchange BitMEX, has left the exchange after two years of service. With this, he becomes the latest addition to the list of CEOs who have exited their firms this year amid the ongoing bear conditions in the crypto market.
The announcement first came on The Block, announcing Hoeptner’s exit from BitMEX immediately. Before joining BitMEX as CEO, Hoeptner worked with German stock exchanges Borse Stuttgart GmbH and Euwax AG as chief executive officer. He was then selected as BitMEX CEO in 2020 following the resignation of the company’s co-founder, Arthur Hayes.
During his tenure as CEO, Arthur Hayes led BitMEX to provide safe, fast, professional, and liquid ways for those who saw the potential of crypto to trade and hedge crypto risk. Hayes’ exit followed aggressive legal moves by the U.S. government alongside other intrinsic struggles within the company.
When Hoeptner assumed office, he continued with the company’s client-based trajectory while monitoring all legal and regulatory developments in stewarding the company’s innovative vision.
Company executives leaving the stage
Hoeptner conforms to the recent trend among executives, leaving their companies in the wave of the prevailing crypto winter, among other troubles. Executives that have left office so far include Kraken’s Jesse Powell, Alex Mahinsky of Celsius network, and Brett Harrison of FTX US, among others. While these executives have varying reasons for exiting their respective companies, the common denominator is the slump in crypto prices.
In the aftermath of the bear market, most crypto exchanges have also recorded plummeting trading volumes this year, with most digital assets recording over 50% lows, according to data on CoinMarketCap.
Noteworthy, Hoeptner is leaving the company before implementing its plan to launch its native token, BMEX, slated for the end of 2022, as previously announced.
Stephen Lutz steps in as interim CEO
In Hoeptner’s place, the company’s chief financial officer Stephen Lutz is immediately stepping in as acting CEO. The company’s spokesperson said:
“Stephan Lutz has been appointed as Interim CEO of BitMEX after Alexander Höeptner has left our business with immediate effect.”
Despite his new role as interim CEO, the company’s spokesperson has assured that Lutz will not abandon his CFO role. An excerpt from the email to the press reads:
“Stephan will continue to serve as our CFO, a role he has held since May 2021.”
As part of his acceptance email, Lutz assured community members that he would continue with the company’s ‘greatness trajectory’ through innovation and security for the ultimate gain of its clients.
“Together with the rest of the management team and our talented staff members, I will ensure that BitMEX continues to deliver great, innovative crypto trading products and a secure and stable trading environment for our clients.”
Lutz also recognized his predecessor, Alexander Hoeptner, for his time with the company, wishing him well as he exited the company to pursue other personal and professional goals. He said:
“We want to thank Alexander for his support to the business during his tenure and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Lutz joined the futures exchange firm in 2021 after working as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, an auditing and consulting firm.
Owned and operated by HDR Global Trading Limited, BitMEX was launched in 2014 as a crypto exchange and derivatives platform before introducing perpetual futures-related services in 2016. The new service played a huge role in bolstering the exchange’s position in the market, catapulting BitMEX to become one of the leading companies in trading volume. However, data from CoinMarketCap reveals that the company has since lagged to position 26 at the time of this writing.
The company was co-founded by Hayes, Samuel Reed, and Ben Delo, a British national. BitMEX became very popular in Asia, with records overseeing as much as $10 billion in daily trading. BitMEX’s main office is in Hong Kong, with other outlets in San Francisco and Seychelles.
The company has also been the subject of numerous legal battles, including an investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over a U.S. trading breach. In addition, in 2018, BitMEX was compelled to shut down the accounts of its North American users following a letter from Canadian regulators informing the company it was in breach for being an unlicensed enterprise.