Cryptocurrency industry commentators have reacted suspiciously to news the CEO of Hong Kong exchange OKEx abruptly stepped down May 14.
As Bloomberg reports citing both an emailed statement and private statement from Chris Lee’s spokeswoman, the executive suddenly left his post in order to “start a new life.”
It was his “greatest pleasure and honour” to work with the exchange, his spokeswoman reportedly quoted Lee as saying.
The news comes following a troubling period in OKEx’s history. At the end of March, unusual activity in its futures markets forced staff to roll back futures contracts after it emerged many had suddenly liquidated and a large number of users had lost millions of dollars.
One trader even came to the exchange’s head office and threatened to commit suicide with poison in an episode which became widely reported in the press.
Prior to that, OKEx had felt pressure from security threats, but last month nonetheless succeeded in relocating to Malta, copying world volume leader Binance.
Responding to Lee’s departure, however, figures on social media were skeptical, appearing to have adopted a cool attitude towards the exchange’s providence.
Entrepreneur and investor Alistair Milne tweeted that contrary to Bloomberg’s assertion OKEx had become the market leader – a fact others have since questioned – the exchange was “up to its old tricks.”