BitMEX to Block Users in Hong Kong, Bermuda and Seychelles

Fibo Quantum

Cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX has added three new jurisdictions to its trade restrictions list.

HDR Global Trading Limited (HDR), BitMEX’s parent company, has added Bermuda, Hong Kong, and the Seychelles to its list of total trade access restrictions. BitMEX, based in the Seychelles, maintains arms in Bermuda and Hong Kong.

The three jurisdictions join the United States, the province of Québec in Canada, Cuba, Crimea and Sevastopol, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Sudan on the list.

Per a company posting, BitMEX added the geo-blocks for regulatory reasons.

“The increased involvement of regulators with all the major players in the industry is not only to be expected, it is to be welcomed. It is the mission of good regulators to ensure that honest citizens are not being cheated . . . For this reason, we have decided to restrict access to BitMEX for users in the jurisdictions in which HDR-affiliated employees and offices are located.”

BitMEX’s announcement follows an investigation by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as disclosed by Bloomberg in July. 

The investigation was seeking knowledge on U.S. traders participation in the cryptocurrency exchange. BitMEX is not registered with the CFTC. BitMEX’s geo-blocks are based on IP-location, causing many traders to set up VPNs to bypass jurisdiction restrictions.

More recently, the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a decision over the exchanges ad posting in a national newspaper. The ASA concluded the bitcoin advertisement, in honor of bitcoin’s genesis block mining tenth anniversary this past January, was purposefully misleading the public.

BitMEX image via CoinDesk archives