Bitcoin Traders Abandon Exchange Amid CFTC Probe

July wasn’t exactly a banner month for crypto investors, but it turns out it was even worse for one of the world’s largest bitcoin trading platforms: BitMEX.

BitMEX Just Had Its Worst Month Ever by One Key Metric

Data curated by TokenAnalyst reveals that BitMEX, a cryptocurrency exchange that offers up to 100x leverage, suffered nearly $525 million in net bitcoin outflows in July, by far its worst-ever month by this metric.

bitmex bitcoin flows july 2019 chart
More than half-a-billion dollars worth of bitcoin fled BitMEX in July. | Source: TokenAnalyst

According to pseudonymous crypto data analyst Ceteris Paribus, BitMEX had never experienced more than $100 million in net outflows in a single month.

Even in 2018, amid the slow-motion bitcoin price crash known as “crypto winter,” the Arthur Hayes-led firm recorded net inflows for every month of the year en route to a cumulative inflow of $1.3 billion.

‘BitMEXodus’ Follows CFTC Probe, Binance Margin Trading Launch

The “BitMEXodus” appears partially correlated with reports alleging that the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has opened an investigation into the Seychelles-based BitMEX.

Bloomberg reports that a key focus of the probe is whether BitMEX, which does not have CFTC approval to offer crypto derivatives to US residents, adequately bars US traders from accessing its platform.

Because BitMEX is one of the world’s largest bitcoin trading platforms, analysts have identified the CFTC’s investigation as one factor that could have contributed to the crypto market’s recent pullback, which dropped the bitcoin price into the low $9,000s just weeks after nearing the $14,000 level.

However, Ceteris Paribus notes that BitMEX’s outflows might not be leaving the crypto trading market altogether, as Binance’s margin trading platform launched in July and has steadily been gaining steam, despite only offering 3x leverage.

In addition to BitMEX, the CFTC has also reportedly investigated closely-associated cryptocurrency firms Bitfinex and Tether, the latter of which is the sole issuer of the USDT stablecoin colloquially known as tether.