BitMEX cryptocurrency exchange agrees to pay $100 mln to settle U.S. charges
11 Aug 2021

BitMEX, one of the world’s largest virtual currency derivatives exchanges, has agreed to pay up to $100 million to settle U.S. charges of unlawfully accepting customer funds to trade cryptocurrencies when it was not registered to do so as well as failure to conduct customer due diligence.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) unit of the U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday alleged that for six years, BitMEX sold cryptocurrency derivatives to U.S. customers without properly registering with U.S. authorities.

U.S. authorities on Tuesday said BitMEX also failed to implement and maintain proper compliance programs to identify customers and prevent money laundering. The exchange also failed to report suspicious activity, they said.

CFTC Acting Chairman Rostin Behnam said the case reinforces that the digital assets world needs to “take seriously its responsibilites in the regulated financial industry.”

Cryptocurrencies reached a record capitalization of $2 trillion in April as more investors stocked their portfolios with digital tokens, but oversight of the market remains patchy.

The five companies charged with operating BitMEX agreed to pay $80 million to settle the charges, with another $20 million suspended pending reviews. BitMEX, which did not admit or deny the findings, said it has made a series of moves to boost its compliance.

By Chris Prentice, Reuters, 10 August 2021

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