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

Reversing the common pattern of regulatory, law enforcement and government veterans joining the cryptocurrency industry, Bittrex US’s former chief compliance and ethics officer has moved to Fannie Mae. John Roth left the crypto exchange for the Washington, D.C.-based mortgage finance giant last month, according to his LinkedIn page. He is now director of legal and regulatory compliance at Fannie, which formed during the Great Depression to buy and insure home loans for banks, and has been operating under government conservatorship since the 2008 crash. Fannie buys or guarantees about a quarter of all single-family mortgages written in the U.S., according to its last annual report. Roth’s LinkedIn profile no longer identifies Bittrex as a previous employer, only a nameless "digital currency exchange startup." "We are grateful for John's contribution to Bittrex. In two and a half years, after building Bittrex’s compliance team from the ground up, John announced he was taking on another role," a company spokesperson told CoinDesk. Neither Roth nor Fannie answered requests for comment by press time.

Run-in with New York

Roth’s tenure at Bittrex was marked by controversy. In April 2019 the New York Department of Financial Services rejected the exchange's application for a so-called "BitLicense," leading the company to later close off business for Empire State residents. Pushback from the company led to an unusual move by the regulator, where it opted to explain the deficiencies of Bittrex's application in an op-ed on CoinDesk. The denial letter from the state went into detail about what it saw as Bittrex’s shortcomings in preventing money laundering and sanctions violations and appeared to specifically criticize Roth. Read More...

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