BitMEX Ditches Clients in the US, Canada - Report (UPDATED)
Hong Kong-headquartered crypto exchange BitMEX is reportedly under pressure from financial regulators in the US as well as the Canadian province of Quebec, according to the South China Morning Post. The exchange responded that these claims are false. (Updated with a response from BitMEX)
According to the report, the well-known exchange was contacted by authorities in Quebec already back in early 2018. The financial regulator reportedly told the exchange that it was not authorized to operate in the province, and asked it to close all trading accounts held by residents of Quebec.
Speaking with the South China Morning Post, an official from Quebec’s regulator – Autorité des marchés financiers – said that they had “informed this company that its activities were illegal.” The official also added that accounts held by Quebec residents were immediately closed by the company.
Officially, the exchange states on its website that it does not offer its services to US and Quebec residents.
The exchange informed Cryptonews.com that it "has banned all US Traders since 2015 and has been proactively closing accounts since guidance was obtained by US regulators, in particular the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)."
It also added that "BitMEX has always retained the right to close any accounts and to liquidate any open positions where any BitMEX trading participant has given false representations as to their location or place of residence. This has been a normal part of our process since we started banning all US traders, we have had a number of situations over the past few years where we have enforced this policy. The only thing that was new in the fourth quarter of 2018 was that BitMEX instituted the use of warning banners and pop ups to inform all potential new users of the procedures."
Late last year, some US-based traders reported that they had gotten their accounts closed by the exchange.
The exchange, which has become famous for enabling trading in cryptocurrency derivatives with extremely high leverage, has made headlines in Hong Kong and elsewhere for paying the highest office rent in the city of USD 600,000 per month for its headquarters in Cheung Kong Center, Central Hong Kong.