Former BitMEX COO could join board of Deribit investor group

Quick Take

  • Angelina Kwan, a veteran of the exchange world, may soon join the board of a group of investors in options exchange Deribit 
  • Previously, Kwan was the COO of BitMEX

The former chief operating officer of BitMEX could soon join the board of a group of investors in crypto options exchange Deribit.

Angelina Kwan, who left BitMEX last September, previously served as the head of compliance for HKEX, Hong Kong's main bourse. 

Three Arrows Capital and QCP — which earlier this year took a 10% stake in Deribit — are closing a secondary offering of Deribit's equity. External investors will be invested in Deribit through a special purpose vehicle, of which Kwan could soon be a member, in a part time capacity, the firms told The Block. Specifically, Kwan would represent minority shareholders. Su Zhu of Three Arrows and Darius Sit of QCP are also on the board. Following publication, Three Arrows Capital walked back on previous comments that Kwan had joined, issuing the following statement:

"Angelina Kwan and representatives of Three Arrows confirm they have had confidential discussions related to a passive investment into a Deribit SPV which Three Arrows Capital and QCP Capital operate. No official agreement has been reached at this time."

The SPV will hold more than 10% of Deribit's equity after the round closes. Kwan would bring expertise in compliance and connections in Asia to help expand Deribit's business in the region.

Earlier on in her career, Kwan held roles at the Securities and Futures Commission, the agency tasked with regulating securities ad futures markets in Hong Kong.

Kwan would join the SPV during a red-hot moment for the burgeoning crypto options market. On Friday, more than $1 billion worth of options contracts will expire on Deribit — the highest amount in the firm's history. Meanwhile, the aggregate open interest of bitcoin options markets stands above $1.7 billion, representing a significant increase from the beginning of 2020.

As the market has grown, Deribit has ceded some of its market share to other marketplaces, namely CME Group, according to research from The Block. At last check, Deribit's market share in the bitcoin options market stood at 68% in terms of notional open interest. 

Update: Following publication, representatives of Three Arrows Capital said Kwan was still weighing the decision to join the board of the SPV despite previously saying she had joined. 

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