|Headquarters||Eden Island, Mahé|
|Key People||Arthur Hayes, CEO, Co-founder; Samuel Reed, CTO, Co-founder; Ben Dolo, CSO, Co-founder|
BitMEX offers bitcoin derivitives trading, including margin trading and liquidation services. It is one of the largest cryptocurrency trading platforms in the world, ranking third by traded volume according to reported trading volumes by CoinMarketCap.
In August 2018, BitMEX moved into the 45th floor of the Cheung Kong Center in Hong Kong, one of the most expensive offices in the world. Around the same time as the move-in, BitMEX servers went down for scheduled maintenance. Almost immediately, bitcoin prices increased by 4%. This ended up adding $10 billion to the market cap of all cryptocurrency assets.
In a February 2019 blog post, BitMEX reported that it had traded a $1 trillion notional worth of cryptocurrency contracts in 2018. In the same blog post BitMEX described the functioning of its insurance fund, which supports their leveraged contracts.
In May 2019, BitMEX wrote on its official blog that, although the company offers a maximum of 100x leverage on its derivatives trading, the majority of traders do not trade at maximum leverage. BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes said that this reflected "quite responsible" behavior on the part of BitMEX's customers. According to BitMEX's data, the average leverage used by BitMEX traders is 29x on long positions and 26x on short positions.
In July 2019 Nouriel Roubini released a report in which he suggested that BitMEX may be involved in "systemic illegality." He said that BitMEX allows its users to take on too much risk. He also said that it's possible that liquidation of user accounts may contribute significantly to the exchange's income, and that BitMEX may trade against its clients, citing a widely-circulated post on Medium from 2018. Though representatives from BitMEX denied these claims, Roubini wrote that Hayes, BitMEX, and anybody else facilitating cryptocurrency trading from overseas regulatory "safe havens" should be investigated. Later that month, Bloomberg reported that BitMEX was under investigation by the CFTC, the federal regulatory agency that oversees commodity and futures marketplaces in the U.S. On July 20th, numerous Twitter users began tweeting that BitMEX's trading volume had fallen by 33%.
Products and Services
BitMEX offers what it calls "perpetual" contracts, which are similar to futures contracts. The difference between perpetual contracts and futures is that, unlike futures, perpetual contracts do not have expiry dates, allowing the trader to hold on to a position until the trader chooses to end it.
BitMEX also offers what it calls "BitMEX DOWN" and "BitMEX UP" contracts. "BitMEX DOWN" contracts are designed to help investors participate in a market decline. "BitMEX UP" contracts are designed to help investors participate in a market rally. In both cases, an investor's potential loss is limited to the investor's initial investment, taking the form of a premium paid on a specified trade date in bitcoin (BTC). Gains are paid out in BTC. Investors cannot short sell using these contracts.
CEO and Founder Arthur Hayes revealed in a podcast in mid April 2019 that BitMEX was developing an options trading platform that would be launched a year to a year-and-a-half later. Hayes said that BitMEX was working with university professors on the design.
In April 2019, the Chicago-based trading software developer Trading Technologies (TT) announced a new partnership with HDR Global Trading, owner of BitMEX. TT said in a blog post that through this partnership, TT's users eligible to trade at BitMEX will have full access to BitMEX's products, including its XBT/USD Perpetual Swap. Arthur Hayes, the CEO of BitMEX, said that this new partnership will "advance our mutual vision to unlock access to cutting-edge cryptocurrency products."
BitMEX was founded in 2014 by Hayes, a former Citigroup equities trader who wanted to create a bitcoin derivatives exchange. Hayes was reportedly bored by the traditional financial services industry, and became interested in cryptocurrency asset trading, which he regards as similar to traditional asset trading in the '80s and '90s.
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- Crypto Exchange BitMEX Rents World’s Most Expensive Offices in Hong Kong. CCN.
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- Bitcoin spiked after a major trading platform went down, and it created a golden opportunity for traders. Business Insider.
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- Crypto Exchange BitMEX Reveals Most of Its Users Don’t Use Maximum Leverage. Cointelegraph.
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- The Great Crypto Heist. Project Syndicate.
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- BitMEX. Linkedin.
- Bored With Banking, This Former Citi Trader Went Full Crypto. Bloomberg.