BitMEX is ending the year with a bang, after the cryptocurrency and derivatives platform today announced the launch of a native token.
Called BMEX, holders of the token can enjoy trading rebates, better rates for the exchange’s Earn product, access to BitMEX’s trading academy, and more.
Marketing materials for the BMEX token indicate that it will have a maximum supply of 450 million vested over five years. Of that supply, 20% is already earmarked for BitMEX employees. The exchange will use “another 25% for [its] long-term commitment to the token and ecosystem.”
The exchange will begin distributing the tokens on February 1, 2022, via an airdrop to eligible users.
The first 50,000 new users who signup before January 31, 2022, and complete BitMEX’s KYC protocol will receive 5 BMEX tokens and 10 (USDT). Users can earn another 15 BMEX tokens for getting three other people to do the same before the January deadline.
We’re thrilled to announce the minting of our token, BMEX 🔥
The Token for True Believers!
— BitMEX (@BitMEX) December 21, 2021
Existing users can begin earning up to 25% of their trading fees in BMEX by simply trading on the exchange.
The token is expected to begin trading “in early Q2 2022.” The token's litepaper, a formalized document that outlines the purpose of a project in more detail, will be published at the end of January next year.
What is BitMEX?
Founded in 2014 by Arthur Hayes, Samuel Reed, and Ben Delo, BitMEX was one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges in the market to begin offering derivatives products like futures contracts.
These contracts are agreements that let its holders buy or sell an asset at a specific date and a specific price. If you think, for instance, that the price of will reach $80,000 by January 31, 2022, buying a futures contract that gives you the right to buy the Bitcoin at today’s prices on that date would be hugely lucrative. If, however, prices fall below today’s prices by that date, you’d be at a loss.
As these products became more and more popular over the years, making its founders billionaires in the budding crypto world, BitMEX eventually came under regulatory fire. These concerns revolved primarily around the platform’s lax KYC rules.
Though the exchange eventually implemented more rigorous compliance measures in October 2020, BitMEX settled in August 2021 with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for $100 million for failing to collect identifying information about its customers.
In a separate case, the exchange’s founders have all surrendered to U.S. authorities for violating the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires financial institutions to take measures to prevent money laundering.