Latest in Crypto Hiring: BitMEX Appoints CFO as Interim CEO

Former executive at Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters joins digital asset liquidity aggregator


Blockworks exclusive art by axel rangel


key takeaways

  • Ex-director of mobile product development at Kraken joins blockchain-based entertainment platform
  • A former CIO of a BlackRock multi-strategy hedge fund seeks to help Strix Leviathan build out its strategy lineup

Alexander Hoeptner, the CEO of crypto futures exchange BitMEX, suddenly stepped down from the role, which he had held since January 2021 — as the company tapped Chief Financial Officer Stephan Lutz as its interim chief executive. 

Lutz is set to continue serving as the company’s CFO, his title since May 2021, a spokesperson told Blockworks. 

“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 said in a statement. “We want to thank Alexander for his support to the business during his tenure and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

A BitMex representative declined to comment on the nature of Hoeptner’s departure, and his plans are unclear. Hoeptner declined to comment. 

Digital asset liquidity aggregator FLUID has hired a former Wall Street executive to lead its product strategy. 

Kiran Pingali co-founded financial technology company TELK Group in 2019 and has been its CEO for the past two-plus years, according to his LinkedIn. He also previously was global head of electronic trading products at investment bank Exotix Capital, and has worked at Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg.

Pingali said in a statement that the company is looking to bring its expertise in traditional finance and electronic trading to the crypto space.

“Our smart order router solution aggregates deep liquidity across CEXs [centralized exchanges] and DEXs [decentralized exchanges], and employs predicted order book prices using AI [artificial intelligence]-based models,” Pingali said. “This, coupled with our low-latency co-located infrastructure, ensures we are always offering best execution to our clients.”

Sovren — a company aiming to build a blockchain-based, decentralized news and entertainment platform — has nabbed former Kraken executive Dave Stann

Stann worked as director of mobile product development for Kraken’s digital asset exchange from 2018 to 2020. During that time, he helped the company launch its Kraken Pro and Kraken Futures mobile apps. Before Kraken, Stann was a director of product management at GSN Games. 

“There are many ‘free-speech platforms’ promising to save us from state censorship, but those promises mean nothing if the underlying tech is not purpose-built to survive the escalating attacks,” Stann said in a statement. “The team at Sovren understands this implicitly, and is leading the charge to solve this problem for good.”

Nik Bougalis, a director of engineering at Ripple, is set to leave the company.

“My decade-long journey at Ripple has been a fantastic (if exhausting and all-consuming) one,” Bougalis tweeted on Oct. 21. “I got to work on a project that I love, towards a goal I believe in. But that journey will be coming to an end in a few weeks.”

A Ripple spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment. 

Crypto mining hardware retailer Phoenix Technology appointed Carl Agren as its CEO as the company looks to expand globally.

Agren formerly was the company’s chief operating officer. Before joining Phoenix Technology earlier this year, he was the COO at G42, an artificial intelligence and cloud computing company.  

Founded in 2015, Phoenix Technology operates in the US, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. It is developing a site in the US expected to be ready in the second quarter of 2023 and is also building a mining facility in the United Arab Emirates.

Law firm Winston & Strawn LLP has hired Juan Azel to help support clients as crypto continues to transform financial services.

Azel was brought aboard as a partner in the firm’s transactions department and a member of its financial services practice. He is set to advise financial institutions and fintech companies on risk management, financial crime regulatory compliance and corrective remediation responses to enforcement actions. 

“Fintech’s and crypto’s rapid evolution continues to transform financial services and to create legal complexities in risk management and regulatory compliance,” Azel said in a statement. “Miami is a major center for the further development of fintech and digital assets nationally, and I believe my combination of in-house and external counsel fintech experience will allow me to provide value-focused legal and business solutions to clients across these sectors.”

Azel was most recently deputy general counsel and chief compliance officer of Cross River Bank.

In case you missed it

Matthew McBrady, a former chief investment officer of a BlackRock multi-strategy hedge fund, joined quant crypto hedge fund Strix Leviathan.

Before BlackRock, McBrady was head of investment strategy and risk management at alternative investment adviser Silver Creek Capital Management and a vice president for Bain Capital’s North American private equity group.  

The Graph Co-founder Yaniv Tal — who stepped down as Edge & Node’s CEO earlier this month — revealed the creation of a knowledge organization app and corresponding Web3 browser.

Called Geo, the company is set to collate blockchain data and develop a browsable user interface accessible to anyone. 

Tal told Blockworks the company has five staffers and is looking to hire front-end engineers.

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