The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission has been investigating the BitMEX cryptocurrency exchange for several months, Bloomberg reported Friday. According to the media outlet’s unnamed sources, the regulatory agency has been trying to determine whether the exchange violated rules that prevent Americans from trading on its platform:
The months-long CFTC probe is focused on whether BitMEX broke rules by allowing Americans to trade on the platform, which isn’t registered with the agency, said one of the people who asked not to be named discussing the investigation, which hasn’t been made public. The regulator considers virtual currencies like Bitcoin to be commodities, and it has jurisdiction over futures and other derivatives based on them.
The CFTC reportedly declined to comment.
BitMEX officially bars U.S. customers from using its platform, but observers have noted that the ban is easily circumvented through the use of virtual private networks (VPN) to mask a user’s home country. The company’s CEO, Arthur Hayes, recently denied any allegations of wrongdoing, and claimed that the exchange is continuously monitoring global regulatory developments and is committed to complying with all relevant laws.