- FTX.US hired former CFTC Commissioner Mark Wetjen to lead policy strategy for the crypto exchange.
- Wetjen worked at CFTC for four years and will lead FTX.US’ communications with US agencies and lawmakers.
- FTX US Derivatives aims to become the first US-regulated crypto exchange to provide crypto derivatives trading.
FTX.US, the US affiliate of crypto exchange FTX, has hired a former commissioner at the US agency that oversees the derivatives market, highlighting moves by crypto firms to bring abroad former regulators as they move to expand or secure the services they offer.
Mark Wetjen, who served for four years as a commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has joined FTX.US as its head of policy and regulatory strategy, the exchange said Tuesday. Wetjen in 2011 was confirmed by the Senate to the CFTC post following his nomination by then-President Barack Obama and worked at the agency until 2015.
Wetjen will advise FTX.US on its compliance standards and reporting operations and will be in charge of communications with the CFTC, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other agencies. Wetjen will also oversee communications with various House and Senate committees and will continue to serve on the board of FTX US Derivatives.
“We’ve created FTX US Derivatives with the intention of becoming the first US-regulated crypto exchange to provide crypto derivatives trading to our user base, and Mark’s experience and guidance will be instrumental in achieving this goal,” said Brett Harrison, president of FTX US, in a statement.
FTX.US in August said it would acquire LedgerX, the first federally regulated crypto options exchange and clearing organization in the country. Sam Bankman-Fried, the 29-year-old billionaire founder and CEO of FTX, told Insider in September increased crypto derivatives volume onshore would be “an absolutely huge opportunity” and “a win-win for regulators and for the industry,” as most of crypto derivatives trading had been overseen or regulated by US regulators.
Bankman-Fried said in a CNBC interview published in August that he had spent five hours a day working on crypto regulation and licensing matters. “We’re applying for licenses in a number of jurisdictions right now … We have to stay on top of that. We have to keep adapting,” he said.
Meanwhile, Binance, the biggest crypto exchange, has hired a number of former regulators as it deals with regulatory crackdowns on the exchange worldwide. Among Binance’s hires was Senate Finance Committee chair Max Baucus and California’s chief financial regulator Manuel Alvarez. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in August Binance was “pivoting” to a proactive approach on regulation from a reactive one.