Stephen Palley gives an in depth look at the BitMEX charges — and what it could mean for DeFi regulation

Episode 40 of Season 2 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Stephen Palley, partner at Anders0n Kill.

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Last Thursday, BitMEX found itself embroiled in both a civil and criminal case with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), respectively. 

BitMEX was hit by twin lawsuits. The CFTC accused the derivative exchange and its operators, including CEO Arthur Hayes and co-founders Ben Delo and Samuel Reed, of running an unregistered trading platform and violating anti-money laundering and know-your-customer regulations.

The DOJ filed a criminal indictment against Hayes, Delo, Reed and head of business development Greg Dwyer for allegedly violating the Bank Secrecy Act. Reed himself was arrested. 


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Responding to the breaking news developments, Stephen Palley, partner at Anderson Kill, featured on this week's episode of The Scoop to break down the nuances of the two cases. He touched on:

  • The process for litigating Bank Secrecy Act violations, and why it's likely the BitMEX operators are likely on the hook for possible prison time
  • What this case means for the growing decentralized finance space
  • Key facts in each filing that will be impactful going forward
  • Why it's surprising that the BitMeX domain has not been seized by law enforcement

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Aislinn Keely is a reporter on The Block's policy team holding down the legal beat. She covers court decisions, bankruptcies, regulatory actions and other key moments in the legal sphere, putting them in context for the wider crypto industry. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV and helmed Fordham University's student newspaper. Send tips or thoughts on all things policy and legal to or follow her on Twitter for updates @AislinnKeely.