BitMEX secures OAM registration to operate in Italy

abdelaziz Fathi

Crypto exchange BitMEX has won regulatory approval from Italy’s financial regulators, allowing the exchange to continue serving Italian customers.

BitMEX

BitMEX had registered its business as a digital asset provider in Italy, following in the tracks of rivals who joined a special registry with brokerage regulator Organismo degli Agenti e dei Mediatori (OAM).

The approval allows the company to offer a suite of products and services to Italian customers, as well as open offices and expand its team in the country.

BitMEX follows in the footsteps of other crypto firms that have recently secured clearance from OAM, as required by newly updated regulations on crypto assets. The list includes Binance, which received regulatory approval in May to act as a crypto service provider with the OAM. Also, Coinbase won approval from Italian regulators and a day later, Crypto.com was awarded nod to distribute its products and services to users in the country. Blockchain.com and Bitstamp had also secured similar nodes.

The applicants are required to submit disclosures of a variety of data, including those relating to client identification and transactions on a quarterly basis. In case of non-compliance with the regulatory requirements, the operator may be subject to financial sanctions and its website may blocked by the internet providers.

Alexander Höptner, CEO of BitMEX, commented: “This is a major step in our regulatory journey as we seek to become regulated in key jurisdictions around the world, validating that we are operating in line with Italian anti-money laundering regulatory requirements. These steps we are taking are also recognition of the importance of having a clear regulatory framework in place that gives users and crypto companies alike trust and transparency in our crypto operations.”

This OAM registration in Italy represents a major step forward in the exchange’s European expansion. The milestone follows the recent membership approval for BXM Link AG, the entity operating brokerage service BitMEX Link, from the Swiss Financial Services Association (VQF), a self-regulatory organisation (SRO) in Switzerland officially recognized by FINMA.

BitMEX CEO Alexander Hoeptner said last week that the crypto exchange is planning to list its native token, called BMEX, on the spot market by the end of the year. BMEX tokens are already similar to other exchange tokens as users can earn BMEX based on trading volumes at BitMEX and the fees generated for the exchange.

BitMEX made headlines last month when its former head of business development, Gregory Dwyer pled guilty to violating the US Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and allowing customers to use the platform to circumvent the federal anti-money laundering rules.

The news came five months after BitMEX founders, Arthur Hayes, Samuel Reed and Benjamin Delo, pled guilty in a US federal court and agreed to each pay a $10 million fine.  While each man faced a possible five years behind bars for their crimes, media reports at the time claimed they had worked out a deal to serve a maximum of six-to-12 month.

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