Economy & Politics

How Bitmex was targeted by US investigators

Arthur HayesPR

If you want to understand how Arthur Hayes, founder of the second largest crypto derivatives exchange in the world, deals with criticism, you only have to look at the “Tangle of Taipei”. At an industry conference in Taiwan’s capital, Hayes and the economist and crypto critic Nouriel Roubini met on a podium in the summer of 2019 – and tackled each other from the very first second.

Whereby: it was mainly Roubini who pounded Hayes. Its trading platform, the world-famous researcher complained, was profiting from driving people into financial ruin. Bitmex, registered in the Seychelles, does not adhere to any rules to protect investors or prevent money laundering. “You are an example of everything that is sick and broken in this industry,” said Roubini.

And Hayes? It showed how unimportant he didn’t care: in tattered jeans and with a thick watch on his wrist, he lounged in his armchair while Roubini made his accusations and almost couldn’t laugh at the excited demeanor of the professor.

The situation at Bitmex has not been laughable since Thursday. The prosecution of the Southern District of New York has brought charges against Hayes and his co-founders for failing to put effective anti-money laundering processes in place. However, the founders were aware that something would come at some point and that they urgently had to work on their compliance – this is shown, among other things, by the recent attempt to take over a German specialist for know-your-customer technology.

You can read all the background information today at Finance Forward, the finance portal of OMR and You can register for the daily newsletter here.


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