BitMEX Has Been Operating Without Authorization in the UK: FCA

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The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has reason to believe that BitMEX has been operating without authorization in the region. The popular Bitcoin derivatives trading venue apparently does not have the required licence to operate in Britain.

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The UK’s financial regulator, the FCA, issued a statement about the BitMEX exchange platform earlier today. [FCA] It claims that the trading company has been targeting UK investors whilst not being authorized to do so.

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First Kraken, Now BitMEX on FCA Radar

Today’s statement by the FCA reads:

“Based upon information we hold, we believe [BitMEX] is carrying on regulated activities which require authorization.”

Although not explicitly fingering BitMEX with any fraudulent or suspicious activity, the statement does mention that companies offering financial services without the correct licence may in fact be scams. In fact, it uses the word multiple times in the short post. The agency also offers advice to the UK public on how to stay safe from such scams.

It states that the public should only deal with companies that are registered with it. Those not sure if a firm has the regulator’s blessing can confirm the existence of licensing agreements by visiting the UK’s register of licence holders. [FCA]

The FCA notice comes just a day after the agency issued a similar warning about fellow crypto asset exchange platform Kraken. BeInCrypto reported as such earlier today. However, the agency now appears to have mysteriously removed the Kraken warning. The link now points to a missing page instead.

The wording of the two warnings is very similar. Like in the Kraken notice from yesterday, the FCA makes frequent use of the word “scam” in connection with the digital currency trading venue. BeInCrypto is not aware of any evidence to suggest that either company has been operating fraudulently or deceitfully in the UK or anywhere else.

FCA Flexing New Authority on Crypto Asset Industry

The news comes less than two months after the FCA announced that crypto asset companies would fall under its jurisdiction. As BeInCrypto reported in January, the agency stated that there would be new requirements for companies working with cryptocurrencies.

As part of the new requirements, all digital currency firms doing business in the UK must hold licences no later than January 2021. The aim is to remain compliant with recently implemented amendments to European money laundering regulations.

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A former professional gambler, Rick first found Bitcoin in 2013 whilst researching alternative payment methods to use at online casinos. After transitioning to writing full-time in 2016, he put a growing passion for Bitcoin to work for him. He has since written for a number of digital asset publications.

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