BitMEX confirms it has reached settlements with CFTC and FinCEN

(Please click here to read a blog by CEO Alex Höptner regarding the resolution)

BitMEX has today confirmed that it has reached a resolution with both the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in relation to investigations by both agencies.

BitMEX agreed to pay as much as US$100 million to resolve the charges. 

Alexander Höptner, Chief Executive Officer of BitMEX, said: “Today marks an important day in our company’s history, and we are very glad to put this behind us. As crypto matures and enters a new era, we too have evolved into the largest crypto derivatives platform with a fully verified user base. Comprehensive user verification, robust compliance, and anti-money laundering capabilities are not only hallmarks of our business – they are drivers of our long-term success”.

He added: “We take our responsibilities extremely seriously, and will continue to actively engage with regulators around the world to ensure that we play a positive role in helping to shape the future of this extraordinary asset class”. 

BitMEX is currently embarking on an ambitious business transformation under its ‘Beyond Derivatives’ strategy, adding five new global business segments. These are Spot, Brokerage, Custody, Information Products, and Academy. Key hires and appointments have been made for each.

In 2020 and 2021, BitMEX made significant progress in areas of user verification, compliance, and market integrity. Milestones include:

Late 2019 – Initiated KYC Build-out

We started to put in place the technology needed to scale up comprehensive know-your-customer capabilities.

August 2020 – Launched User Verification Process

We announced that all customers, new and existing, would need to complete identity verification or else close their accounts and withdraw their funds.

October 2020 – Hired Chief Compliance Officer Malcolm Wright

We announced the hiring of Malcolm Wright as our Chief Compliance Officer. Malcolm also serves as Chair of the Advisory Council and AML Working Group at Global Digital Finance, a leading association that engages with industry, policymakers, and regulators.

November 2020 – Added Partners to Boost Anti-Financial Crime, Trade Surveillance, and AML Capabilities

We announced the addition of Refinitiv World-Check One to our compliance toolbox to boost our anti-financial crime capabilities and bolstered our trade surveillance and anti-money laundering capabilities with our partnership with Eventus Systems.

December 2020 – Hired CEO Alex Höptner

We announced the appointment of Alex Höptner as our CEO. Alex previously served as CEO of Börse Stuttgart, which became a pioneer for regulated digital asset trading under his leadership.

January 2021 – Announced Completion of the BitMEX User Verification Programme

We confirmed that our user verification programme was successfully implemented as of December 2020. This made BitMEX the largest crypto derivatives exchange with a fully verified active user base. 

We also deepened our integration with blockchain intelligence provider Chainalysis to better identify, investigate, and stop illicit transactions. 

February 2021 – Appointed Wai Kin Chim as Independent Non-Executive Board Director

We appointed Wai Kin (WK) Chim as an independent non-executive board director. WK brings deep experience in corporate governance, risk management, and compliance from his 30-year career in major financial institutions including Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of China. 

March 2021 – Strengthened our Customer Due Diligence and Screening for Sanctioned Entities

We partnered with Kharon, a research and data analytics company, to strengthen our customer due diligence and enhance screening for OFAC-sanctioned entities.

April 2021 – Announced Plans for Spot, Brokerage, Custody, Information Products, and Academy

We announced our ‘Beyond Derivatives’ strategy, adding five new global business segments: Spot, Brokerage, Custody, Information Products, and Academy. 

July 2021 – Reflected on Positive Impact of User Verification Programme

Six months after the completion of our user verification programme, we published a piece on what we’ve learned and how it has positively impacted our platform. 

To learn more about BitMEX, our vision, growing team, and the road ahead, please follow us on Twitter, Telegram, and the BitMEX Blog.