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Bittrex Exec Joins Mortgage Giant Fannie Mae After Crypto Exchange’s Brush With NYDFS

Reversing the widespread sample of regulatory, regulation enforcement and authorities veterans becoming a member of the cryptocurrency trade, Bittrex US’s former chief compliance and ethics officer has moved to Fannie Mae.

John Roth left the crypto trade for the Washington, D.C.-based mortgage finance big final month, in accordance with his LinkedIn page. He’s now director of authorized and regulatory compliance at Fannie, which shaped through the Nice Despair to purchase and insure dwelling loans for banks, and has been working below authorities conservatorship because the 2008 crash. Fannie buys or ensures a few quarter of all single-family mortgages written within the U.S., in accordance with its final annual report.

Roth’s LinkedIn profile now not identifies Bittrex as a earlier employer, solely a anonymous “digital foreign money trade startup.”

“We’re grateful for John’s contribution to Bittrex. In two and a half years, after constructing Bittrex’s compliance crew from the bottom up, John introduced he was taking over one other position,” an organization spokesperson instructed CoinDesk. Neither Roth nor Fannie answered requests for remark by press time.

Run-in with New York

Roth’s tenure at Bittrex was marked by controversy. In April 2019 the New York Division of Monetary Providers rejected the trade’s software for a so-called “BitLicense,” main the corporate to later shut off enterprise for Empire State residents. Pushback from the corporate led to an uncommon transfer by the regulator, the place it opted to elucidate the deficiencies of Bittrex’s software in an op-ed on CoinDesk.  

The denial letter from the state went into element about what it noticed as Bittrex’s shortcomings in stopping cash laundering and sanctions violations and appeared to particularly criticize Roth. 

“Bittrex’s present insurance policies and procedures are both non-existent or insufficient,” NYDFS mentioned within the letter, questioning the “expertise, stage of authority and effectiveness of the Compliance Officer” with out naming him.

Earlier than becoming a member of Bittrex in December 2017, Roth labored in authorities service, relationship all the best way again to stints at two completely different U.S. Legal professional’s workplaces by means of the 1990s. He additionally served on the Division of Justice and as inspector common on the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety, and was a senior counsel to the bipartisan 9/11 Fee, which investigated the circumstances resulting in the terrorist assaults.

Different crypto execs to rejoin the general public sector embrace Brian Brooks, former Coinbase chief authorized officer, who went to the Workplace of the Comptroller of the Forex, a banking regulator; and Dorothy DeWitt, additionally previously of Coinbase, now working on the Commodity Futures Buying and selling Fee’s Division of Market Oversight.

Staff in flux

Bittrex’s chief working officer James Waschak is working the compliance crew till a successor for Roth is discovered.

The management crew was already in flux earlier than Roth’s departure. Founder Invoice Shihara is on a roughly six-month sabbatical from his position as CEO whereas co-founder Richie Lai manages day-to-day operations. Shihara stays energetic as chairman of the board.

Whereas sometimes understood as one firm, Bittrex is technically three entities, an trade for customers in the USA, one for the remainder of the world and a expertise firm that serves each, in accordance with a spokesperson at Bittrex World (the aforementioned worldwide trade).

There was additionally a management transition at Bittrex World in February. Kiran Raj stepped down as CEO, serving elsewhere throughout the firm, in accordance with a spokesperson. Tom Albright, former common counsel, now leads the trade for the world outdoors the U.S. COO Stephen Stonberg added the duties of chief monetary officer.

Based in 2013 by Shihara and others, Bittrex is ranked 18th amongst exchanges on CoinGecko; it noticed $24 million in buying and selling quantity during the last 24 hours, as of this writing.

Disclosure Learn Extra

The chief in blockchain information, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the best journalistic requirements and abides by a strict set of editorial insurance policies. CoinDesk is an impartial working subsidiary of Digital Forex Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.


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