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.
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.