AAX’s marketing exec leaves as withdrawal halt continues

Atom Asset Exchange (AAX) is losing Ben Caselin, its vice president for global marketing and communications, at a time when senior executives continue to leave the crypto exchange at a critical time.


In a twitter thread, Caselin, who held senior marketing roles with the exchange since 2019, announced his resignation and cited disagreement with the management over how they are handling the current issues.

“People, including my own family ask me for help, but there is nothing I can do. Everyone is waiting on actions. I still believe things will be handled without evil intentions, but the damage is done. The brand is no more and trust is broken,” he wrote.

Caselin added that he placed a lot of trust in AAX, which was the first crypto user of the London Stock Exchange’s matching technology, and used it as a platform to educate, but the way things are handled is “without empathy and overly opaque.”

The departure comes on the heels of the Hong Kong-based company halting client withdrawals on its platform two weeks ago. At the time, AAX said the move wasn’t part of a broader limit on activity in the wake of rival FTX’s collapse, which has caused chaos in the industry. It also confirmed that it had no financial exposure to FTX and its affiliates.

Instead, the crypto exchange cited the failure of a third-party partner, which caused some users’ balance data to be improperly recorded while scheduling a system upgrade. Hence, AAX halted its services to prevent further risks, while the technical team has had to manually proofread and restore the system to ensure accuracy of all users’ holdings.

“More importantly, all digital assets on AAX remain intact with a substantial amount stored in cold wallets, and user funds are never exposed to counterparty risk from any financing or venture activities,” it added.

AAX also said it expects to resume regular operations for all users within 7-10 days, but its staff will then review the withdrawal requests manually one by one in coordination with the security, operations, and compliance teams. But as events unfold, the exchange acknowledged that it faced an unprecedented crisis that has led to acute pressure on AAX’s capital position.

In its latest twist, AAX said it needs to raise new capital in order to resume its services. “While this is clearly a very difficult environment in which to raise new capital, the amount is not large by market standards,” it claims.