17. April 2021

BitMEX founder Arthur Hayes wants to deliver himself

BitMEX lawsuit: founder Arthur Hayes wants to turn himself in

Arthur Hayes apparently has no desire to be escorted by Singapore police. The ex-CEO of crypto exchange BitMEX wants to come to the US to testify in the legal battle with the US financial regulator CFTC.

If there is one thing the US market watchdogs of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) do not like, it is the Bitcoin Up operation of an unlicensed trading platform that US citizens can also access. This is exactly what the authority accuses the four BitMEX founders, including former CEO Arthur Hayes, of. The CFTC already filed a corresponding lawsuit in the court of the Southern District of New York in October 2020.

Hayes, still CEO of the Exchange at the time, announced his resignation shortly afterwards. Since then, the authorities have apparently had trouble getting hold of him. Hayes does not reside in the USA, but in Singapore. As now emerges from court documents published by the crypto portal The Block, Hayes has agreed to come to the USA for his testimony. Specifically, Hayes plans to first fly to Hawaii to testify in the matter. The tentative date given is 6 April 2021. This is according to a transcript of a court hearing on 9 February.

It is possible that the BitMEX co-founder wants to avoid extradition proceedings. Such proceedings have already been initiated against Greg Dwyer. Dwyer was the first employee of BitMEX and most recently served as Head of Business Development. After the indictment became known in October 2020, Dwyer took a „leave of absence“ from this position.

BitMEX bows to pressure from authorities

For a long time, it was possible to trade leveraged products for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies virtually anonymously on BitMEX. There was no ID control, as is now common practice with most centralised providers. Only in August 2020 did BitMEX announce that it would gradually verify the identity of its customers. For the CFTC, which accuses BitMEX of violating KYC and AML regulations, the change of heart apparently came too late.

For the current issue of Kryptokompass, we spoke with the new BitMEX CEO Alexander Höptner, who until recently still headed the Stuttgart Stock Exchange (BSDEX).