Public Statements & Remarks

Statement by Commissioner Johnson Regarding Consent Order Imposing $10 million Penalty Against Each Individual Co-founder and Co-owner of BitMEX

May 05, 2022

Washington, D.C— Today, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) entered a Consent Order imposing a $10 million civil monetary penalty in connection with charges against Arthur Hayes, Benjamin Peter Delo, and Samuel Reed, the three individual co-founders and co-owners of BitMEX, totaling $30 million. On August 10, 2021, SDNY ordered BitMEX corporate entities to pay $100 million for illegally operating a cryptocurrency trading platform and anti-money laundering (AML) violations.[1]

The mission of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is to promote the integrity, resilience, and vibrancy of the U.S. derivatives markets through sound regulation. In carrying out this mission, Congress authorizes the CFTC to promote responsible innovation and fair competition in our markets.[2] This case highlights the significance of cryptocurrency derivatives platforms operating in the United States, particularly those permitting U.S. customer participation; such platforms must comply with the Commodity Exchange Act and the Commission’s regulations. To remain competitive in global financial markets, our derivatives markets must continue to innovate, particularly in emerging digital asset markets. It is imperative, however, to balance responsible innovation with core principles, including consumer protection, transparency, and fairness.

We applaud the collaborative efforts of the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement and its laudable cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the SDNY and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

I would like to especially recognize the Division of Enforcement staff who worked diligently to coordinate this matter with other enforcement partners: Carlin R. Metzger, Joy McCormack, Joseph Platt, Elizabeth N. Pendleton, Scott R. Williamson, and Robert T. Howell. 

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[1] Federal Court Orders BitMEX to Pay $100 Million for Illegally Operating a Cryptocurrency Trading Platform and Anti-Money Laundering Violations, Release Number 8412-21 (August 10, 2021), available at: 

[2] See Section 3(b) of the Commodity Exchange Act, 7 U.S.C. § 5(b).