Statement of Commissioner Dan M. Berkovitz on the $100 Million BitMEX Crypto Trading Fine
August 10, 2021
Today the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entered an order imposing a $100 million civil penalty against the operators of the BitMEX trading platform. This order is the result of an enforcement investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) and demonstrates our resolve to prosecute violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and the Commission’s regulations with respect to the trading of cryptocurrency.
Congress entrusted the Commission with the mission to promote market integrity, avoid systemic risk, and protect market participants across all products and all markets within the Commission’s jurisdiction. The CEA does not carve out cryptocurrency products or markets. Today’s order enforces our registration, exchange-trading, and anti-money laundering requirements as they apply to cryptocurrency trading.
The Commission’s statutory mission also includes promoting “responsible innovation and fair competition” among markets and market participants. Blockchains, smart contracts, and other new technologies have the potential to improve the transparency and efficiency of our derivatives markets. However, for innovation to be responsible and competition to be fair, it must comply with the CEA and our regulations.
I would like to recognize the Division of Enforcement staff who vigorously pursued this matter: Carlin R. Metzger, Joy McCormack, Joseph Platt, Elizabeth N. Pendleton, Scott R. Williamson, and Robert T. Howell. Their efforts to address this new segment of our markets and bring this matter to a successful conclusion are commendable.
 The order only applies to the legal entities in whose name BitMEX operates. The natural persons that developed and controlled BitMEX during the relevant period remain under investigation.