According to anonymous sources, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), an American regulator, has launched an investigation into the large cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX. Bloomberg reports this on July 19.
BitMEX, based in Seychelles, is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Among other things, it offers investors the opportunity to trade with cryptocurrencies with a leverage of 100x . Because BitMEX is not registered with the CFTC, Americans are not allowed to use the platform.
According to the anonymous sources, however, there is a possibility that a large number of Americans did this through a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This allowed them to bypass the blockade and still use the platform.
The CFTC has not yet responded to the news. According to the sources, the investigation is still ongoing and it does not mean that the exchange will actually be sued.
The bitcoin (BTC) rate seems to be responding shortly after the announcement of the news. The price fell in value in a few moments, namely a few hundred dollars in value. However, the rate has been fairly volatile in recent days, so that such movements are the order of the day. It is therefore not entirely clear whether the decrease is the result of the news surrounding BitMEX.
The well-known crypto-skeptic Nouriel Roubini recently accused the exchange of being “openly involved in systematic illegality.” In addition, BitMEX would expose its customers to too large risks due to the high leverage that investors can choose. The CEO of BitMEX, Arthur Hayes, responded to these statements and said to Bloomberg:
We continue to monitor all legislative and regulatory developments around the world and to comply with all applicable laws and regulations; we reject all accusations of crime, manipulation or unfair treatment of our customers, which are central to everything we do.