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In 2020, the CFTC filed charges accusing BitMEX and its co-founders of illegally providing spot and derivative trading services to US customers without appropriate money-laundering precautions.
A judge at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York has delivered judgment in line with the CFTC charges brought against BitMEX founders Arthur Hayes, Benjamin Delo, and Samuel Reed. After the trio entered a guilty plea in February 2022, the judge has now ordered them to pay a $30 million fine for the charges.
The court will deliver further sentencing to all the accused in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, BitMEX co-founder and former CEO Arthur Hayes hopes to avoid jail time and get permission to live abroad and travel freely. In his plea, Hayes included a letter from his mother begging for leniency in his sentencing.
What the CFTC Charges Mean
Recall that in 2020, the CFTC filed charges accusing BitMEX and its co-founders of illegally providing spot and derivative trading services to US customers without appropriate money-laundering precautions. In August 2021, the commission entered a consent order with BitMEX, fining the firm $100 million.
Chairman of the Commission, Rostin Behnam believes that this is just one example of the commission using its authority in the digital asset ecosystem to protect customers and keep the market free of fraud or manipulation.
Citing the indictment, he said, “This is another example of the Commission taking decisive action where appropriate to ensure that digital asset derivatives trading platforms comply with the Commodity Exchange Act and Commission regulations.”
Acting Director of Enforcement Gretchen Lowe also stated categorically that leaders of cryptocurrency derivatives trading platforms operating in the United States must ensure their platforms comply with necessary federal commodities laws. This would include CFTC registration, Know-Your-Customer and Anti-Money Laundering regulations.”
Aware but Unbothered, Says BitMEX
Asked about the case, BitMEX spokesperson, Taylor Bossung, neglected to comment, citing the company wasn’t directly involved. Bossung noted that the firm’s focus is on the launch of its spot exchange in the coming weeks.
The firm will launch the BitMEX spot before the end of May. The BitMEX spot exchange, which is now on its Testnet, will allow users to transact several cryptocurrencies on BitMEX. These cryptocurrencies include popular portfolio staples like BTC, ETH, LINK, MATIC, APE, AXS, and UNI.