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BitMEX Looking to Acquire One of Germany's Oldest Banks

BitMEX plans to acquire one of the oldest banks in Germany amid aims to establish a one-stop-shop for regulated crypto products in Europe.

3 min read
BitMEX is a Bitcoin futures exchange. Image: Shutterstock.

BXM Operations AG, established by executives of crypto exchange BitMEX, has today announced plans to purchase Bankhaus von der Heydt, a 268-year-old German bank.

The acquisition of the Munich-based bank is still subject to approval by Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and is expected to be finalized in mid-2022, BitMEX said in a blog post.

The financial details of the agreement, which was signed by Bankhaus von der Heydt’s current owner, Dietrich von Boetticher, are not disclosed.

Per the announcement, Bankhaus von der Heydt will continue to be operated as a standalone business once the deal is finalized, with BitMEX’s CEO and CFO, Alexander Höptner and Stephan Lutz, joining the bank’s supervisory board.

“Germany, as the largest economy in Europe, combines an innovative approach to digital assets with strong regulatory oversight and rule of law – making it a prime market for BitMEX’s expansion in Europe,” said Stephan Lutz in a prepared statement.

Bankhaus von der Heydt was established in 1754 and became one of Germany's first regulated financial institutions to offer digital asset services.

The bank teamed up with digital asset technology provider Bitbond to issue a Euro-backed stablecoin on the Stellar blockchain in December 2020, followed by a partnership with Fireblocks in October 2021 to expand its offerings to digital asset banking, securitization, and fund services.

BitMEX’s European ambitions

According to BitMEX, the acquisition of Bankhaus von der Heydt will help it in “pursuing the ambitious goal of establishing a one-stop-shop for regulated crypto products in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.”

Today’s announcement also follows the launch of BitMEX Link, a Swiss-based cryptocurrency brokerage house featuring spot, structured products, and over-the-counter (OTC) trading.

“Through combining the regulated digital assets expertise of Bankhaus von der Heydt with the crypto innovation and scale of BitMEX, I believe we can create a regulated crypto products powerhouse in the heart of Europe,” added Alexander Höptner.

The latest move from BitMEX certainly makes sense given the company’s complex relations with regulators in the past.

Founded in 2014, BitMEX was once one of the biggest names in the crypto industry and one of the first exchanges to offer derivatives products, such as futures contracts.

The company, however, fell under intense regulatory scrutiny, with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) charging BitMEX with intentionally evading U.S. laws.

The case was settled in August 2021 after BitMEX agreed to pay $100 million to resolve the charges.

There is, however, an ongoing criminal case against former BitMEX executives, including ex-CEO Arthur Hayes, who will be tried in March this year along with co-founder Benjamin Delo and former CTO Samuel Reed.

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