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BitMEX Gets Regulatory Approval in Italy, Seeks European Expansion

The cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, BitMEX, has received regulatory approval and registration from Italy’s Organismo Agenti e Mediatori (OAM) to operate as a virtual currencies and digital wallet services provider in the country.

The OAM supervises the operations of cryptocurrency companies in Italy.

“This registration permits BitMEX to offer a suite of spot trading products and services to Italian customers in compliance with local regulations,” BitMEX announced on Monday.

In January, the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance introduced a policy that mandated cryptocurrency service providers in the country to get registered and run a physical local subsidiary.

Additionally, the policy required them to comply with the country’s anti-money laundering provisions.

BitMEX in a statement, announcing the development, noted that the registration proved its dedication to partnering with regulatory authorities to uphold standards that protect its users as well as the cryptocurrency industry.

It added that the registration “represents a major step forward in our European expansion.”

“This is a major step in our regulatory journey as we seek to become regulated in key jurisdictions around the world, validating that we are operating in line with Italian anti-money laundering regulatory requirements,” Alexander Höptner, the CEO of BitMEX, said.

Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency derivatives exchange disclosed that the Swiss Financial Services Association, a self-regulatory body, has recently approved the membership of BXM Link AG, an operator of its all-hour brokerage for Bitcoin traders, BitMEX Link.

On top of that, BitMEX recently launched a spot crypto exchange with support for seven cryptocurrency pairs, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Struggle with Regulators

Over the past few months, BitMEX, which was launched in 2014, has been having a hard time with regulators in the United States.

In May, a New York court ordered the three co-founders of the platform, Arthur Hayes, Benjamin Delo and Samuel Reed, to pay $10 million each for violating the US Commodity Exchange Act and regulations of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Earlier, the co-founders pled guilty to violating the US Bank Secrecy Act by breaching anti-money laundering provisions of the country.

This followed actions by the derivatives market regulator CFTC and prosecution by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

In August last year, the exchange agreed to pay $100 million to the CFTC and the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in relation to compliance investigations by both agencies.

BitMEX officially withdrew its services from the US in September 2015, but prosecutors have said the exchange did not effectively block US customers from accessing their trading services.


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