Angelina Kwan, a prominent Hong Kong advocate for women in STEM, has left her position as COO at the crypto derivatives platform, BitMEX, The Block reports.
“We can confirm that Angelina Kwan is leaving the company and is on gardening leave now. That’s all we can say on the matter at the moment, but we wish Angelina all the best,” a spokesperson for BitMEX told the outlet.
Kwan joined BitMEX in October 2018, and, according to Bitcoin Magazine, brought, “significant regulatory compliance experience, including eight years with the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC).”
Commenting on her hire, Kwan said she would, “…be responsible for overseeing and driving the company’s growth…while guiding BitMEX on its mission to offer advanced, innovative financial products for the global cryptocurrency industry.”
Kwan also said she has a history of, “joining organizations that are at the cusp of making a major breakthrough, so it’s with a sense of great excitement that I take on the challenge of driving BitMEX to new market heights.”
She also claimed at the time that, “Regulatory compliance and prudent risk management is, and has always been, fundamental to the culture and practice of BitMEX globally…BitMEX prohibits residents of various jurisdictions, including the US, from holding positions or entering into contracts on BitMEX.”
But Kwan may have joined BitMEX at a particularly challenging time as crypto platforms around the world attempt to accommodate significant upticks in global regulatory standards and enforcement for crypto.
Like many crypto trading platforms and wallets, BitMEX has been accused of exercising minimal KYC/AML (customer background checks) in early days.
As well, in July of this year, Bloomberg reported that the US Commodity and Futures Trading Commission, which oversees commodities trading in the US, is investigating BitMEX for allegedly allowing Americans to trade on the platform despite the espoused ban.
“Gardening leave” is a pleasant-sounding term for what may be an adversarial situation.
“Gardening leave is a protectionist measure used by an employer when an employee is terminated or when he tenders his resignation. Once in effect, it often prevents the employee from being involved in any work activity for their current employer, and typically restricts them from either taking on another job or working for themselves…(It) is sometimes considered to be a euphemism for being suspended and can be perceived to have negative connotations such as the employee being unfit for anything other than tending to his or her garden.”