Things seem to be going from bad to worse for BitMex CEO Arthur Hayes.
Earlier this month at a conference in Taipei, a prominent debate between Hayes and “Dr. Doom” Nouriel Roubini snowballed into controversy after Roubini criticized Hayes for not releasing a video of the debate.
Earlier this week, Roubini went further, saying he has evidence of malpractice at BitMex.
According to Roubini, the exchange operation involves evasion of anti-money laundering regulations as well as “front-running, insider trading, massive scale money laundering (etc.)”
What’s worse than that, though, is that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission seems to be poised to start an investigation into BitMex to see if it provides services to U.S. residents.
Unconfirmed Twitter reports today are suggesting that the regulator wants to see whether American users are jumping on board the BitMex exchange, which is not allowed according to current U.S. law, in illicit ways.
This BitMex probe echoes a similar controversy around a different platform with a similar name – the New York Attorney General Letitia James has been gunning for the Bitfinex exchange for a while, saying that the exchange provide services to New York clients, while Bitfinex argues it does not serve New Yorkers at all.
The BitMex case seems a bit more clear-cut in that the exchange isn’t allowed to deal with any Americans at all.
Investigators will be looking at whether Americans use VPN and other privacy tools to make an end run around regulations.
Meanwhile, people are lining up to take sides behind their chosen debater.
“Arthur Hayes is a con artist. A pathological liar. An absolute disgrace in the land of crypto,” writes cryptotraderstv, commenting on a Cointelegraph piece announcing the CFTCC’s move. “Move all your money out of BitMex now before its too late …”
“Arthur Hayes is genuinely a nice guy, and so I personally feel Roubini is getting a tad bit too personal!” writes Masao Akimoto.
Follow this scintillating story as it unfolds.