BitMEX Starts Spot Exchange on Eve of Co-Founder Hayes's Sentencing

Arthur Hayes will be sentenced for violation of the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act on Friday.

AccessTimeIconMay 17, 2022 at 8:55 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:41 p.m. UTC

Cryptocurrency's longest-running futures exchange, BitMEX, introduced a series of spot markets on its platform just three days before co-founder Arthur Hayes is due to be sentenced.

  • BitMEX will support seven spot trading pairs with bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), Chainlink's LINK, Uniswap's UNI, Polygon's MATIC, Axie Infinity's AXS and APE all being traded against tether (USDT).
  • The exchange said it will be giving away $1 million in cryptocurrency for users that place trades on the spot pairs.
  • The platform launched in 2014 and was considered the market-leading derivatives exchange as it pioneered perpetual swap contracts, which are effectively futures contracts without expiry that require less margin and allow for higher leverage.
  • The emergence of FTX and Binance Futures saw BitMEX fall down the pecking order. It now has plans to become a "top 10 global spot exchange," it said in an email.
  • The popularity of BitMEX dwindled after Hayes and co-founder Ben Delo were charged by U.S. authorities in 2020 for facilitating unregistered trading and other violations. Hayes could serve between six to 12 months in prison when sentenced this Friday.

CORRECT (May 17, 12:22 UTC): Removes reference to Ben Delo from subheading and first paragraph. An earlier version said Delo would also be sentenced on Friday.


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Oliver Knight

Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.

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