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Crypto Regulation Too Much or Just a Change of Plans? Antonio Juliano Quits as dYdX CEO Weeks After Cayman Islands Move

Last Updated May 14, 2024 4:43 PM
Eddie Mitchell
Last Updated May 14, 2024 4:43 PM
Key Takeaways
  • Founder and CEO Antonio Juliano will now transition to a new role within the decentralized exchange.
  • dYdX has had no regulatory actions applied from, the U.S., though it’s Cayman Island restructuring may be a preemptive move to prevent this.
  • The dYdX (DYDX) token remains largely unaffected by this change,

Antonio Juliano is stepping down as CEO of the decentralized exchange (DEX), dYdX, who has decided to move to a role as chairman and president of the platform.

The move comes shortly after dYdX announced plans to restructure its operations by establishing a legal entity in the Cayman Islands as the U.S. continues to apply regulatory pressure on crypto and decentralized finance (DeFi).

Stepping Down

In a May 13, 2024 blog post , Juliano declared that he would no longer be functioning as the CEO of dYdX. As per the post, Juliano has found his replacement in former chief strategy officer, Ivo Crnkovic-Rubsamen.

In his post, Juliano doesn’t allude to any future professional goals but simply notes that this is the next step on his journey.

He explains that he slowly realized he didn’t need to be the CEO of dYdX, and instead concluded that he should “shepherd other leaders” in the company until one was ready to run the firm themselves. He adds:

“At the beginning of this year, it became clear to me that this person, my longtime friend + partner in running the company Ivo Crnkovic-Rubsamen, was ready to take over fully. Since then, the company has been operating even better than when I was running it myself.”

Despite now becoming Chairman & President, the DEX founder states he “will always be the leader of dYdX” and continue to shape the firm’s “major decisions and strategy”. With little idea of what comes next, Juliano is seemingly more optimistic than ever about the exchange’s future.

Anticipating Regulatory Scrutiny?

His “transition” to other positions within dYdX comes at a time of increasing regulatory scrutiny from U.S. regulators. Notably, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is currently looking into DeFi platform Uniswap (UNI), has not yet levied any enforcement actions or Wells Notices against the firm.

Notably, the SEC had previously proposed that DEXs should also fall under the same classification as exchanges, and therefore the same regulations. This was followed by the Treasury Department suggesting that such platforms are to be categorized as brokers. In February 2024, the SEC adopted rules to bring them under its purview.

When dYdX announced its plans to restructure and set up a legal entity in the Cayman Islands in April 2024, it was seen as a preemptive response to an impending enforcement action. This is understandable given the SEC’s subpoenas against similar platforms such as SushiSwap, Shapeshift, and most recently, Uniswap.

The Market Reacts

The dYdX (DYDX) token seems to have taken a minor hit following the news. Though it was already in decline for the last week dropping some 11% from around $2.20, the coin’s price has taken a sharper fall in the last 24 hours with a further decline of around 4.6% to $1.91.

Though it could be attributed to the CEOs departure, DYDX appears to be moving in line with the crypto market overall , which has also seen a steady drop in prices over the past week.

Analysis from CCN suggests DYDX could bottom out as low as $1.20 and correct to $2.22, where it may push upward to a new resistance of $2.90.

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