BitMEX was founded in 2014 by Arthur Hayes,Ben Delo, and Samuel Reed, with financing from family and friends. In 2016, the exchange introduced perpetual futures, which became its most popular derivative product. In 2018, Delo became the United Kingdom's first billionaire from bitcoin, and its youngest self-made billionaire.
In July 2019, Nouriel Roubini, a critic of cryptocurrencies, suggested that the exchange is involved in illegal activities, allowing traders to take on too much risk and by trading against clients. Two days later, it was reported by Bloomberg that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) was investigating BitMEX as to whether they broke rules by allowing Americans to trade on the platform.
On October 1, 2020, Hayes, Reed, Delo, and Gregory Dwyer were indicted on charges of violating the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act and conspiracy to violate that law, arising from allegations that the four failed to implement anti-money laundering measures. As of 6 October 2020[update], Reed had been arrested and Hayes and Delo had not been arrested. The case name is "U.S. v. Hayes et al", case number of 20-cr-00500, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
On April 6, 2021, former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes turned himself in to face U.S. charges for violating the Bank Secrecy Act. He was released on $10 million bond pending future court proceedings in New York.
^Robinson, Edward; Vaghela, Viren (31 Jan 2018). "Bored With Banking, This Former Citi Trader Went Full Crypto". Bloomberg. Retrieved 17 Oct 2018.
Bitmex completed a SAFE round of investment in July 2015 then shortly after was inducted into SOSV batch 8 china accelerator program where it sold equity in exchange for labour and financing.
^Alexander, C; Choi, J; Park, H; Sohn, S (2020). "BitMEX Bitcoin Derivatives: Price Discovery, Informational Efficiency and Hedging Effectiveness". Journal of Futures Markets. 40 (1): 23–43. doi:10.1002/fut.22050. SSRN3353583.
^Alexander, C; Choi, J; Massie, HRA; Sohn, S (2020). "Price Discovery and Microstructure in Ether Spot and Derivative Markets". International Review of Financial Analysis. 71: 101506. doi:10.1016/j.irfa.2020.101506. SSRN3511533.