Digital currency trading platform BitMEX is implementing mandatory Know Your Customer (KYC) verification for all of its users. This requirement is a change of pace for the exchange, which many view as a lax and lenient gray area operator.
In its official announcement, BitMEX said, “The User Verification Programme will require individual users to go through a four step process similar to ID checks on many other cryptocurrency exchanges. Individual users will be prompted to upload a photo ID and proof of address, take a selfie, as well as answer a few multiple choice questions about source of funds and trading experience.”
The KYC registration will begin on August 28th and will be complete by February 12, 2021. This policy change from BitMEX may have been induced by the regulatory framework around the digital currency industry that is on the horizon.
According to Ben Radclyffe, the commercial director for the BitMEX parent company, 100x Group, BitMex implemented its new KYC policy to “get ahead of evolving regulation.” Regardless of the steps BitMEX is taking to be compliant, it is well-known that BitMEX users—even those that live in restricted jurisdictions—find a way to circumvent the BitMEX geoblock and trade on the platform.
BitMEX under investigation
In late 2019, the United States Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that they were investigating BitMEX on allegations of breaking U.S. laws. Even though BitMEX banned U.S. citizens from trading on BitMEX in 2015, the CFTC believed that the platform was still allowing Americans to trade on the platform—without registering with the CFTC and receiving their permission to offer that service.
CEO Arthur Hayes has even acknowledged that it’s possible for individuals living in restricted jurisdictions to mask their location by using a VPN.
That being said, it makes sense that BitMex is requiring its users to provide proof of address this time around. Because from the looks of it, the trading platform knows that a regulatory crackdown is on the way and they don’t want to be caught in the crosshairs when it happens.
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