One week after charges were brought by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Department of Justice, nearly 30% of BitMEX’s bitcoin (BTC) balance has been withdrawn by customers.

  • A spokesperson for the derivatives exchange told CoinDesk that, despite the significant withdrawals, “It is business as usual for the BitMEX platform.”
  • Total BTC held on BitMEX addresses dropped from 192,986 BTC on Sept. 30 to 135,619 BTC Tuesday, a 29.73% decline, according to data provided by Coin Metrics.
  • Aggregate open interest for BitMEX BTC futures also took a hit in the past week, falling by over $100 million from $732 million on Sept. 30.
  • The “fundamentals” of the exchange “remain strong,” however, according the spokesperson, specifically BitMEX's “resilient open interest and liquidity.”
bitmex-balance
The total number of coins held on BitMEX addresses since January 2018
Source: Coin Metrics, CoinDesk Research
  • On-chain transaction data reviewed by CoinDesk suggests that much of the withdrawn coins were deposited to addresses at Binance, which also prohibits American users, and U.S.-based Gemini and Kraken.
  • Even though customers are withdrawing coins, one BitMEX balance that is not shrinking is the exchange's Insurance Fund, a pool of funds nominally used to prevent auto-deleveraging of traders’ positions.
  • Since Thursday, the fund has grown by nearly 20 BTC (or over $200,000) to 36,588 BTC (or over $388 million), by far the largest insurance fund of any cryptocurrency derivatives exchange.
  • The Seychelles-based business consistently ranks fourth by 24-hour volume and second by open interest, according to bitcoin futures data from Skew.
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