Former CFTC Commissioner Joins FTX Exchange’s US Office
Ex-CFTC Commissioner Mark Wetjen will join the US branch of the FTX crypto exchange after many years at the side of current SEC chairman Gary Gensler.
FTX US is aiming to get into the crypto derivatives space and the US arm announced today that it has hired Mark Wetjen, EX-CFTC’s commissioner, as its new regulatory policy and strategy. Wetjen was a much-needed addition to the growing company as he served as a commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for five years. Wetjen also took on the role of CEO for five months when CEO Gary Gensler left the company in 2014.
1 / FTX US looks forward to welcoming you @MarkWetjen as our Head of Strategy, Policy and Regulation! https://t.co/ReHR07fkGr
– Brett Harrison (@Brett_FTXUS) November 2, 2021
The CFTC is the federal regulator for financial derivative contracts based on assets such as stocks or commodities. These include bitcoin options and futures contracts, which allow people to speculate on the future price of the cryptocurrency. It’s no surprise that FTX US is looking to add crypto derivatives alongside existing spot services as its parent company has become a major competitor to Binance. It even completed the acquisition of LedgerX as the first CFTC regulated crypto derivatives platform. After leaving the company, Wetjen joined the LedgerX board of directors. FTX US President Brett Harrison said:
“We founded FTX US Deri Derivatives with the intent to be the first US regulated crypto exchange to include crypto derivatives trading for our user base and experience. Mark’s guidance will help achieve this goal.”
As head, Wetjen will be responsible for communicating and lobbying with regulators and their overseeing legislative committees, which could bring him in closer contact with Gensler. Gensler and his counterpart CFTC chairman Rostin Behnam are aspiring to a position in regulating the crypto market, and he’s even attempting to ask the SEC to play a bigger role in regulating the stablecoins as they make it easier to get into the crypto ecosystem . Meanwhile, Behnam has asked the Senate Agriculture Committee to extend the agency’s powers to regulate cryptocurrencies beyond derivatives. Wetjen said he looks forward to driving the regulatory transition of the crypto landscape on behalf of the exchange.
As recently reported, FTX is the second most popular cryptocurrency exchange and, according to the website, has now officially relocated its headquarters from Hong Kong to the Bahamas, but is still listed in Barbuda and Antigua. Earlier this week, FTX Trading Limited obtained licenses to subsidiaries in Gibraltar and the Bahamas and will later operate under the FTX Digital Markets banner, where it is registered with the Bahamas Securities Board to trade digital assets.
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