Tula, Russia - FEBRUARY 21, 2019 Bitmex logo displayed on a laptop

BitMEX launches spot trading platform as Arthur Hayes’ sentencing draws closer

BitMEX is diving into the world of digital currency spot trading. The cryptocurrency exchange, which has been facing intense legal battles, has only offered derivatives trading since it launched eight years ago.

BitMEX rose to become one of the world’s largest derivatives exchanges, led by the seemingly fearless and overly ambitious CEO and co-founder Arthur Hayes. It later turned out that the exchange and its executives broke a rule or two along the way under the misguided belief that the end would justify the means, and they are paying for it now.

Launched in 2014, the exchange dealt exclusively with digital asset derivatives, but it now offers a spot trading platform, as it revealed on Tuesday. While spot exchanges allow traders to purchase and sell an asset instantly, derivatives exchanges deal with contracts such as options, futures, and perpetuals.

“Today, BitMEX is one step closer to providing our users with a full crypto ecosystem to buy, sell and trade their favorite digital assets. We will not rest as we aim to deliver more features, more trading pairs, and more ways for our clients to take part in the crypto revolution,” CEO Alexander Höpner stated, commenting on the news.

Höpner took over after Hayes resigned in 2020. He was serving as the CEO of Börse Stuttgart GmbH, Germany’s second-largest stock exchange before his stint at BitMEX.

At launch, the spot exchange will offer some of the digital currencies that speculative traders have preferred over the years, such as BTC and ETH, as well as some of the newer variants, such as ApeCoin, the native token of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT ecosystem.

This ecosystem was recently on the news after its NFT offering showcased just how inefficient Ethereum is after tens of thousands of transactions failed and millions of dollars were lost in fees due to a spike in demand and usage. A vulnerability that the massively scalable Bitcoin SV doesn’t suffer from. The leaders of the project have said they are considering leaving Ethereum as it can’t scale.

The new spot exchange comes in the same week in which ex-CEO Hayes is set to be sentenced in a New York court. As CoinGeek reported, he has pleaded with the court to sentence him to probation so that he can be with his family, rather than the 5-year-sentence that his crime comes with.

However, prosecutors are having none of this and have made it clear that he deserves to spend some time behind bars for his crime.

“Given his lengthy history of anti-regulatory and anti-law enforcement rhetoric and conduct in relation to cryptocurrency trading, there is an acute risk that he will return to criminal conduct if he does not perceive that there is a real cost to such criminal behavior,” they said in a filing.

Follow CoinGeek’s Crypto Crime Cartel series, which delves into the stream of groups from BitMEX to BinanceBitcoin.comBlockstreamShapeShiftCoinbaseRipple
EthereumFTX and Tether—who have co-opted the digital asset revolution and turned the industry into a minefield for naïve (and even experienced) players in the market.

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