BitMEX has been embroiled in a legal battle with the United States for the past week, with the Department of Justice filing criminal charges against BitMEX’s Founders and Executives, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filing civil charges as well. In fact, this is more like an attack than a legal battle at this point, since the United States is aiming to arrest BitMEX’s Founders and Executives, and for now they are on the run, aside from BitMEX’s CTO Samuel Reed, who was arrested and is in jail.
What happens next has been unclear since the day the indictments were unsealed. Initially it seemed likely that BitMEX would be shut down. However, BitMEX has defied the odds and has remained open, and still has tremendous trading volume, and BitMEX even went as far as saying that they will remain open and that all funds are safe.
Now BitMEX has changed its leadership positions, increasing the likelihood that they will stay open. Specifically, Arthur Hayes, who was the Founder and CEO of BitMEX, is no longer the CEO and holds zero leadership roles at BitMEX at this point.
Another Co-Founder of BitMEX, Samuel Reed, is no longer the CTO and no longer holds leadership positions as well. Notably, Samuel Reed is the one BitMEX Executive who has been arrested so far.
Additionally, BitMEX Co-Founder Ben Delo, and BitMEX Executive Greg Dwyer, have stepped down from their leadership roles as well.
The reason these changes increase the likelihood of BitMEX staying open is in the eventuality that the original Founders and Executives are arrested, the company will still be able to function.
In fact, the only way BitMEX can be closed now is through the courts, since BitMEX itself is a company and cannot be arrested.
Further, it will be difficult for the United States to force BitMEX offline, since BitMEX is not even based in the United States, and the Seychelles would have to approve and execute the closure of BitMEX, since that’s where BitMEX is based.
All things considered, it seems BitMEX now has a good chance of surviving and remaining open, although there is a long and grueling legal battle ahead. That being said, the possibility remains that BitMEX’s website will be taken offline via the United States subpoenaing BitMEX’s internet service provider (ISP).