On Nov. 14, Zubin Koticha and Alexis Gauba, the co-founders of Opyn, an Ethereum-based options trading platform, announced their decision to step down from their project and leave the crypto industry altogether.
Zubin Koticha, co-founder at Opyn, wrote:
“Hey Crypto Twitter … This one’s a tough one. After the regulatory action against Opyn, [co-founder Alexis Gauba] and I have made the decision that we are leaving crypto. This is honestly really emotional for me and Alexis.”
Koticha’s statement cited the recent regulatory actions from the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as the primary reason for him and Gauba stepping down and exiting the crypto industry.
The CFTC charged and simultaneously settled with three DeFi platforms, including Opyn, on Sept. 7. It alleged that Opyn failed to register according to several rules and requirements and failed to adopt a customer identification program in compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act. The regulator also said that Opyn illegally offered leveraged and margined retail commodity transactions involving digital assets.
It is unclear whether Koticha and Gauba were directly involved in the case, as the CFTC did not name any individuals involved with the company in its charges.
Koticha said that Andrew J. Keone, head of research at Opyn, will serve as the company’s CEO going forward. He emphasized Keone’s history as an MIT engineer and experience as a Wall Street trader and described him as a de facto third co-founder.
Co-founders had an extensive crypto presence
Opyn’s two co-founders have maintained a broader presence in crypto since 2017. Koticha’s LinkedIn page indicates that he is also the co-founder of Mechanism Labs, a blockchain research lab. He has additionally been involved with the blockchain project ThunderCore and the University of California Berkeley’s blockchain department.
Gauba likewise held positions at the three above locations. She is also a co-founder of she256, a blockchain diversity and education nonprofit.
Koticha and Gauba have stated that they have a new project underway, which appears to be unrelated to cryptocurrency, given their departure from the industry.