After nearly a year under investigation, crypto exchange and derivatives trading platform Bitmex has agreed to pay as much as US$100 million to settle charges brought by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, according to a company blog post.
- Alex Höptner, BitMEX’s CEO, told Forkast.News in a statement: “We’re glad to put these matters behind us, and we’re not missing a beat in continuing the growth and transformation of our business with compliance, user verification, and [anti-money laundering compliance] at the center of everything we do.”
- In October last year, the CFTC charged the company and several executives, including then-CEO and co-founder Arthur Hayes, with operating an unregistered trading platform and violating know-your-customer and AML requirements. Hayes, a Singapore resident, surrendered himself in April.
- BitMEX likely knew it was under investigation for some time before the charges were brought. A Forkast.News Freedom of Information Act request to the CFTC showed that the agency was actively investigating an exchange earlier in the year, although the exchange’s identity was not disclosed.
- Forkast.News Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau spoke with Hayes at the Asia Blockchain Summit in 2019, where he defended the company’s decision to headquarter itself in the Seychelles.
- “Because the Seychelles are the [sic] friendly environment for companies doing our type of business, we actually have great contacts in the government,” Hayes said. “So, it’s these nations where they don’t have entrenched financial power that be [sic], that they have to answer to, they can actually move with the times, innovate financially and bring business to their economies.”