FTX, Voyager, Celsius, these names have notoriety now stamped on their letterheads, but there is one little-known crypto exchange that is causing headaches left and right in the least likely of places. When diving into the next big crypto scandal, we have to jump on a flight to our neighbors across the pond where BitMex reigns supreme.
Alexander Höptner, the former CEO of BitMEX, joined the firm back in January 2021. However, Höptner abruptly left the firm in October. In his latest court filing, he pointed out that he was ousted from the firm after he received a letter that entailed misuse of funds, failure to execute duties other accusations. Höptner was against this termination and the allegations that followed suit.
In his filing to Singapore’s High Court, Höptner noted that BitMEX had conducted a “baseless” internal investigation.
What Hoptner Had to Say
This was reportedly done in order to steer away from paying millions of dollars in salary as well as bonuses. The former BitMEX CEO claimed that the exchange owed him $3.4 million. This included $2.4 million from his second-year bonus and other wages like relocation and housing expenses. Elaborating on the relocation expenses, he said,
“I put my personal and family lives on hold in order to be on the ground managing operations in Singapore and Hong Kong. I’m disappointed that it has gotten to the point that legal proceedings are necessary, but I’ve been left with no choice.”
His migration from Hong Kong to Singapore and then to Germany was the subject of the inquiry, which found that he had misused corporate funds to pay for the movements. This is what is claimed to have led to his termination in late October.
Other Details of the Lawsuit
It should be noted that Höptner is being represented by Kelvin Chia Partnership. The lawsuit was filed in the General Division of the High Court of the Republic of Singapore. While BitMEX steered away from affirming the accusations, a spokesperson for the exchange said,
“As the matter is pending before the Singapore Court, we are unable to make any substantive comments at this stage. We will respond to the claims made by Alexander Höptner in Court (which is the appropriate forum). Needless to say, we will defend the claim vigorously.”
BitMEX Makes Cuts of 30% to Focus on Derivatives
Speaking of BitMex, the cryptocurrency exchange recently reduced its workforce by 30%. However, it was an attempt to return to its original focus on derivatives trading. BitMEX’s former CEO, Arthur Hayes, was sentenced to two years of probation earlier this year. He was pleading guilty to charges of willfully failing to implement an anti-money laundering (AML) program at the exchange.
Before joining BitMEX in late 2020. Höptner was CEO of the German stock exchange Borse Stuttgart GmbH and liquidity provider Euwax AG. Hoeptner previously stated that BitMEX intended to launch its native token, BMEX, by the end of the year.
What do you guys think? Is this the next big crypto scandal, or is this a lesson in choosing the right CEOs, with ethics and morale at the center of their decision-making repertoire? One thing is for certain, less drama and more trading are what the crypto markets need, now more than ever. So let’s hope this is the last we hear of Alexander Höptner, or will it be…?