Alexander Höptner is stepping down as CEO of cryptocurrency exchange BitMex after less than two years on the job.

A BitMex representative announced that Stephan Lutz has been appointed as Interim CEO of BitMex following Alexander Höptner’s sudden departure.

Lutz said in the emailed statement,

“Together with the rest of the management team and our talented staff members, I will make sure that BitMex continues to deliver great, innovative crypto trading products and a secure and stable trading environment for our clients.”

In addition, the spokesperson said that they want to thank Alexander for his support to the business during his tenure and wish him well in his future endeavours.

BitMex, which was founded in 2014, was one of the first exchanges to provide crypto derivatives. It has since faced a number of legal fights.

Moreover, Höptner will begin working at BitMex in January 2021. He formerly worked at Börse Stuttgart, Deutsche Börse AG, and Euwax AG, where he was instrumental in the development of Bison, Börse Stuttgart’s crypto trading subsidiary.

He informed The Block that he hoped to use his previous experience developing a regulated digital asset venue to assist BitMex implement a worldwide strategy.

Höptner succeeded Vivien Khoo, who was chosen as interim CEO by BitMex’s parent company, the 100x Group, after co-founder and CEO Arthur Hayes was forced to resign following lawsuits from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Department of Justice.

Hayes pled guilty to breaking the US Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) in May and received a six-month home detention sentence as part of a two-year probationary period.

At the same time, the exchange let off approximately 75 employees after abandoning ambitions to acquire German bank Bankhaus von der Heydt.