FTX.US president Brett Harrison is stepping down

Quick Take

  • Brett Harrison — who joined FTX.US as president soon after its launch — is exiting the role.
  • “Over the next few months I’ll be transferring my responsibilities and moving into an advisory role at the company,” Harrison wrote in a tweet thread.

Brett Harrison, the former high-speed trading executive turned crypto exchange chief, is stepping down as president of FTX.US.

"I’m stepping down as President of @FTX_Official," Harrison tweeted Tuesday. "Over the next few months I’ll be transferring my responsibilities and moving into an advisory role at the company."

Harrison, who joined FTX.US as president in May 2021, oversaw the growth of the company as it clinched unicorn status and expanded outside of crypto into stock and non-fungible token trading. It is currently eyeing the launch of a new crypto derivatives product, pressing regulators in recent months and antagonizing incumbent players in the process.

FTX — which is reportedly raising at a $32 billion valuation and is a juggernaut in international crypto derivatives trading — launched FTX.US in May 2020.  

Harrison's next moves are unclear at this time. "I can’t wait to share more about what I’m doing next. Until then, I’ll be assisting Sam and the team with this transition to ensure FTX ends the year with all its characteristic momentum," he wrote.

Still, the news is striking given his public role at the company, which was founded by crypto entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried.

Up until last week, Harrison was appearing in the financial press and representing the firm at conferences, including Anthony Scaramucci’s SALT.

Indeed, the former trading technology executive at Citadel appeared on an episode of The Scoop released on September 16, in which he outlined the growth of FTX.US and his priorities for the future, noting specifically the importance of seeking clarity from U.S. regulators. FTX.US’s recent push with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, if successful, would give it the ability to offer futures trading directly to clients, rather than through a brokerage firm. The proposal is pending regulatory approval. 

Harrison and Bankman-Fried overlapped at quantitative trading shop Jane Street, where Bankman-Fried said “he combined great technical skills (way better than mine!) with a clear view of the business needs and priorities.”

In August, FTX.US facilitated the trading of more than $6.6 billion in cryptocurrencies — an increase from nearly $2 billion in June 2021, but a far cry from larger rivals like Coinbase and Kraken.

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