BitMEX saw a sea change in its BTC inflow/outflow as the potential of a U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) probe hit home. The 24-hour period following the news that the Seychelles-based exchange was being investigated for allowing U.S. individuals to trade on its platform saw only $12 million worth of BTC coming into the platform and a massive $85 million leaving it, according to stats from TokenAnalyst. This is the largest 24-hour cumulative withdrawal in months and show the fears that has gripped some users of the platform.
— Su Zhu ? (@zhusu) July 20, 2019
Roubini Gets His Wish
News of the CFTC investigation into BitMEX broke first through Bloomberg, with word quickly spreading around the community, clearly leading to many U.S. users to withdrawing their funds and, presumably, closing their accounts. The investigation has not been officially confirmed by the CFTF, with Bloomberg only citing “people familiar with the matter” and explaining that the “months-long probe” had been underway for some time and that such investigations “often don’t lead to allegations of misconduct”. Economist and Bitcoin-hater Nouriel Roubini frequently attested to BitMEX’s unregulated nature during his debate with BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes during the ‘Tangle in Taipei’ three weeks ago.
Sheesh, look at those market books, they are so thin. This explains today Bart activity to me. And actually scares me “fundamentally” since bitmex might have lost their MMs. And now we got that inquiry from CFTC pic.twitter.com/z4P0mx6YNm
— TheBoot (@TheBootMex) July 19, 2019
Shrinking Market for U.S. Investors
The market for U.S. users is slowly shrinking thanks to the stringent regulations being imposed by authorities and the reaction of service providers worldwide. Binance is due to shut off access to U.S. customers in mid-September, although a Binance US service will replace it, while Seattle-based Bittrex has been delisting coins at a rate of knots in recent weeks citing concerns about them being potential securities. With the U.S. being crypto’s biggest market by a huge margin, how this continued squeeze, which as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin informed the world last week will only get tighter, will affect the market as a whole will be something worth watching.