BitMEX, the cryptocurrency exchange co-founded by crypto pioneer Arthur Hayes, announced in a tweet Tuesday that it is launching its own token, BMEX — “The Token for True Believers”.
BitMEX was founded in Hong Kong in 2014 by Hayes, Ben Delo, and Samuel Reed, making it one of the earliest crypto derivatives exchanges. It is now based in Mahé, Seychelles.
BMEX tokens won’t be offered to people in the U.S. and other restricted jurisdictions, and won’t be tradeable by people in the U.S., The Block Crypto reported.
The former BitMEX CEO, Hayes has been accused of skirting U.S. financial laws by operating in the “shadows of the financial market”. At one point, BitMEX claimed to be processing more than $1.7 billion in daily derivatives transactions.
The Black American banker-turned-crypto pioneer was living in Asia but surrendered in April 2021 to U.S. authorities in Hawaii to face charges that he had failed to take steps to prevent his pioneering cryptocurrency exchange from being used for money laundering.
BitMEX founders were indicted on charges of violating the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act. Hayes and Delo turned themselves in and Reed was arrested. Hayes was released on bond and all three are due to appear at a trial scheduled for March 28, 2022, in New York, according to Bitcoin.com.
Hayes is a former equities trader for Citigroup Inc. in Hong Kong. Co-founder Delo is an Oxford-educated computer scientist who previously developed high-frequency trading systems for JPMorgan Chase, and Reed is a former programmer specializing in web applications.
Hayes bootstrapped during the early days of BitMEX and part of his claim to fame was building his team. Some crypto enthusiasts are calling out the Feds for double standards when dealing with the Black crypto-billionaire.
“While banks are fined for mistakes such as not developing strong enough controls to stop money laundering on their platform, Arthur Hayes was arrested for it and could face jail time,” tweeted Dare Obasanjo, technology leader at Microsoft, in a July tweet. “A double standard as banks are fined not arrested for this.”
In a Dec. 9 blog post, Hayes described crypto capital markets as “the only free markets left globally.” They “act as the only functioning smoke alarm” for problems that may have emerged elsewhere in the financial system.
“One can argue that the crypto puke-out that saw bitcoin and ether lose over 20% of their value on December 4th was the crypto market signaling a severe reduction in risk asset prices,” Hayes wrote, suggesting that the stock or bond markets could be next for a sell-off.
The upcoming BMEX token will be airdropped by Feb. 1, 2022, in customers’ exchange wallets. BMEX tokens will have a maximum supply of 450 million units. They will be minted immediately and vested over a period of up to five years. The first 50,000 new users to complete KYC (know your customer checks) can register to get five BMEX tokens and 10 Tether (USDT) stablecoins. Existing traders will get BMEX tokens as they trade. They can earn up to 25 percent of the monthly trading fee in BMEX token in a 1:1 ratio, capped at 50,000 BMEX per month per user. There is also a referral program for users who refer three friends to sign up and complete KYC, which will give the referrer 15 BMEX tokens.
The token launch could help revive BitMEX’s trading volumes, which took a beating in the last few months, The Block Crypto reported.
Photo: Arthur Hayes, co-founder of bitmex.com
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