BitMEX Names Stephan Lutz Interim CEO As Hoeptner Steps Down


BitMEX has named chief financial officer Stephan Lutz interim CEO after Alexander Hoeptner left “with immediate effect.”

“Together with the rest of the management team and our talented staff members, I will make sure that BitMEX continues to deliver great, innovative crypto trading products and a secure and stable trading environment for our clients,” Lutz told Decrypt in an email.

The company said Lutz will continue in his role as CFO, but wouldn’t be commenting further on Hoeptner’s departure.

Heoptner joined BitMEX in 2020, having previously been CEO of the German stock exchange Borse Stuttgart GmbH. During an interview at Token2049 in Singapore earlier this month, Hoeptner said that BitMEX would list its native token, BMEX, before the end of next year.

“If you launch a token in a market which clearly is not at all at the bottom, then your token will be drained down with the general environment,” he said.

The company airdropped 1.5 million BMEX to new and existing exchange customers in February of this year. At the time, the company said that it would begin trading in early Q2.

What is BitMEX exchange?

On Tuesday, BitMEX was the 19th-largest derivatives exchange by volume, having done $309 million in the past day and $2 million worth of spot trades, according to CoinGecko.

In August, BitMEX launched a Tether-margined futures contract for ETHPOW in anticipation that members of the Ethereum community would want to resist the network’s switch to proof of stake. EthereumPoW (ETHW) hasn’t exactly taken off, having fallen 89% from its all-time high of $58.54 at the start of September to $6.38 on Tuesday morning, according to CoinGecko.

There’s currently $952 million worth of open interest on the contract, which will settle at the end of December.

The centralized crypto exchange was launched by Arthur Hayes, Ben Delo, and Samuel Reed in 2014 as a Bitcoin derivatives platform. It added perpetual swaps—futures contracts with no expiry date—in 2016, allowing traders to open contracts with up to 100x leverage. That means an investor could open a position worth $10,000 with $1,000 of their own money.

In 2020, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission alleged that the cofounders “willfully caused BitMEX to fail to establish and maintain an AML program,” or anti-money laundering program, which would have included a Know Your Customer (KYC) program to gather identifying information about customers.

All three cofounders pleaded guilty to violating the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act in February, agreeing to each pay a $10 million criminal fine, and have seen been released on probation.

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