Controversial Bitcoin Firm BitMEX Blocks Regional Clients

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BitMEX is no longer offering its bitcoin derivatives trading services in regions from where it operates.

The Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange announced today that it would block service access to clients living in Seychelles, Hong Kong, and Bermuda. All three regions have BitMEX offices and are home to its top executives and employees. The exchange said in its latest statement that its decision to ban regional traders would ensure “continued compliance,” adding that it would bring more transparency to ensure that honest citizens are not being cheated.

“For this reason, we have decided to restrict access to BitMEX for users in the jurisdictions in which HDR-affiliated employees and offices are located,” read the announcement. “Seychelles, Hong Kong and Bermuda will be added to the list of jurisdictions already restricted from access to BitMEX. This change will have no financial impact on the business and will affect very few people. The BitMEX team will be reaching out to those who are affected.”

Insider Trading Accusations

The announcement follows accusations about BitMEX giving unfair trading advantages to insiders. Last month, renowned economist Nouriel Roubini debated BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes and raised concerns about how the exchange was trading against its customers via price manipulation, wash trading, and whatnot. Roubini also said that BitMEX offered 100x leverage trading services to unaccredited investors, which broke many local and international laws.

BitMEX said in its announcement that regulators had communicated their concerns with their office. Their decision to stop offering services in local regions stemmed from the accusations of insider trading. Therefore, none of the exchange’s executives and staff would be able to have access to their trading desks. Excerpts:

“The BitMEX platform is entering a new and exciting era. This conservative action is not taken reactively, but proactively. We want to ensure we lead the industry not just in innovation but also in standards.”

BitMEX Independent Audits

Just last month, Bloomberg reported that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission was investigating BitMEX for allegedly offering bitcoin derivatives services to US-based customers. The exchange neither admitted nor denied the accusation. Furthermore, its and Hayes’ official social media handles went mum for more than a month.

In its latest approach, BitMEX appeared to be in a rush of washing the old stains. The exchange said it is going to open its platform to be reviewed by third parties, including independent audits of its insurance funds against potential thefts.

“We are showing third-parties why we believe BitMEX is a safe place to trade; how our innovative contracts are structured; why we keep an Insurance Fund; how auto-deleveraging is orderly and fair; how we know all accounts are 100% backed; and why we believe BitMEX has one of the safest custody solutions in the world.”

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