Crypto exchange BitMEX to block users from three countries

Tim Copeland


Bitcoin derivatives exchange BitMEX has restricted users of three countries from using its platform, according to a statement released today.

The exchange is limiting access to users in Seychelles, Hong Kong, and Bermuda, namely because its employees and offices are situated in those locations. "The increased involvement of regulators with all the major players in the industry is not only to be expected, it is to be welcomed. It is the mission of good regulators to ensure that honest citizens are not being cheated," said the exchange. "For this reason, we have decided to restrict access to BitMEX for users in the jurisdictions in which HDR-affiliated employees and offices are located."

The three countries are added to a list that includes, the US, the province of Québec in Canada, Cuba, Crimea and Sevastopol, Iran, Syria, North Korea or Sudan; and any state, country or other jurisdiction that is embargoed by the US.

BitMEX claimed that the change will "have no financial impact on the business and will affect very few people" and has reached to those that will be affected. The announcement comes as part of a larger move to "extend the transparency of our systems". BitMEX also announced it was conducting an independent audit of its insurance fund—designed to mitigate against an unexpected market crash. But 2019 hasn't been smooth sailing for the exchange.

Last month, Bloomberg revealed the CFTC is probing the exchange over whether US citizens were trading on the exchange, despite it claiming it didn't serve them. Earlier this month meanwhile, we revealed how traders were fleeing the platform, taking some $500 million worth of assets with them. BitMEX didn't comment on the allegations.