BitMEX Ether Futures Trading Contracts Fall by Half in Wake of US Charges

Open interest on the Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange is down nearly 50% from the $125 million observed Oct. 1.

AccessTimeIconOct 5, 2020 at 11:26 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 6, 2023 at 3:29 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Investor interest in ether futures traded on BitMEX has declined sharply since the Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange was charged Thursday with illegally operating an unregistered derivatives-trading platform that accepted U.S. customers.

  • At press time, ether futures contracts worth $63 million (179,000 ETH) are open or active on BitMEX, the lowest since May 15, according to data source Skew.
  • Open interest is down nearly 50% from the $125 million observed on Oct. 1.
  • Last week, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed civil charges against BitMEX, and the Department of Justice brought criminal charges against BitMEX's owners for facilitating money laundering and other illegal transactions.
  • Open interest in ether futures on BitMEX was declining even before last week’s charges, in line with a downdraft witnessed across the industry. It had peaked at $214 million on Sept. 1.
  • September's 17% decline in ether's price likely dented short-term optimism, causing a slide in the open interest across all exchanges.
  • Notably, since Thursday, open positions in BitMEX bitcoin futures have also declined by over 20% from $592 million to $456 million. 


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.