LedgerX Places Founders on Administrative Leave After Tussle With CFTC

LedgerX CEO and COO Paul and Juthica Chou have been "placed on administrative leave" by the company, with DTCC vice chairman Larry Thompson filling in.

AccessTimeIconDec 9, 2019 at 8:10 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:47 a.m. UTC

LedgerX CEO and COO Paul and Juthica Chou are no longer running the company they founded.

A press release Monday announced that the couple had been “placed on administrative leave,” effective immediately, with Larry E. Thompson named as interim CEO and lead director of Ledger Holdings, the derivatives provider’s parent company.

"The board composition is tricky,” Juthica Chou told CoinDesk via email. “There is nobody else on the board that knows computer science, bitcoin and derivatives – which makes these conflicts and disagreements often difficult. Paul and I wish the new management team well."

LedgerX offers bitcoin derivatives products to institutional and retail investors in the U.S., primarily physically-settled options and swaps contracts. The company failed in a bid to launch physically-settled bitcoin futures earlier this year, though its application to modify a Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) registration allowing it to do so remains outstanding.

The company has been working with the CFTC to secure its amendment since 2018.

However, according to a pair of letters obtained by CoinDesk through a Freedom of Information request in September, the company’s leadership believed former CFTC Chairman Christopher Giancarlo held a “personal animus” towards LedgerX due to a blog post written by Paul Chou. 

Paul Chou confirmed that the letters were accurate at the time.

According to Monday’s press release, Thompson comes from the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), where he held the role of vice chairman. DTCC Managing Director Mark Wetjen sits on LedgerX’s board (Wetjen did not immediately return a request for comment).

“The board of Ledger Holdings is committed to the Bitcoin ecosystem and all of Ledger Holdings' stakeholders,” Monday’s press release said.

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