Arthur Hayes Steps Down as BitMEX CEO Following U.S. Government…

Arthur Hayes Steps Down as BitMEX CEO Following U.S. Government…

October 9, 2020

100x Group COO Vivien Khoo will serve as BitMEX interim CEO. Ben Radclyffe, BitMEX Commercial Director, will have more responsibilities for client relationship handling and oversight of financial products. 

Last week, the U.S. government charged the leaders of the crypto exchange and derivative trading platform BitMEX. According to the legal filing, the executives have failed to stop money laundering and operated an unregistered trading platform illegally. Following the charges, Arthur Hayes has stepped down as BitMEX CEO, other leaders shifted roles as well.

According to the BitMEX blog post, founders Arthur Hayes and Samuel Reed have stopped all executive management responsibilities for their respective CEO and CTO roles. Other defendants in the case are Ben Delo and Greg Dwyer. The former will no longer hold executive positions in the 100x Group, the parent company of BitMEX. The latter will leave his role as head of business development.

Meanwhile, 100x Group COO Vivien Khoo will serve as BitMEX interim CEO. Further, Ben Radclyffe, BitMEX Commercial Director, will have more responsibilities for client relationship handling and oversight of financial products.

BitMEX stated:

“Our senior leaders within our technology team will continue the day-to-day management of the BitMEX platform, including ongoing efforts to enhance the performance of the platform.”

David Wong, Chairman of 100x Group, commented on the leadership changes:

“These changes to our executive leadership mean we can focus on our core business of offering superior trading opportunities for all our clients through the BitMEX platform, whilst maintaining the highest standards of corporate governance. We have an exceptional senior leadership team who are well-placed to continue the growth and development of the 100x Group, including completion of the BitMEX User Verification Programme. It is business as usual for us and we thank all clients for their continued support.”

U.S. Government Charges against BitMEX CEO

On October 1, the U.S. Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) charged BitMEX for illegal trading of crypto derivatives and violating money-laundering rules. As we have reported, the CFTC accused the exchange of running an unregistered trading platform as well as violating anti-money laundering and know-your-customer regulations. As for the DOJ, it filed a criminal indictment against Hayes, Delo, Reed, and Dwyer for allegedly violating the Bank Secrecy Act. According to the institutions, BitMEX also offered swapped on major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC).

In response, BitMEX stated:

“We strongly disagree with the U.S. government’s heavy-handed decision to bring these charges, and intend to defend the allegations vigorously. From our early days as a start-up, we have always sought to comply with applicable U.S. laws, as those laws were understood at the time and based on available guidance.”

As a result of the lawsuits, BitMEX has seen massive withdrawals in recent days. In less than 24-hours after the episode, users withdrew 32,200 Bitcoins (about $339 million at that time). By now, this amount totaled 40,000 Bitcoin.

Notably, BitMEX has said they are still operating as normal. Besides, the exchange has assured that the investors’ funds are safe.

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