Crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX, once the dominant player in the futures market, has lost its number one position in recent months.
Two major events — the March 2020 market sell-off and the twin lawsuits filed against BitMEX by the U.S. government last October— appear to have impacted the exchange.
BitMEX’s market share, in terms of open interest on bitcoin futures, declined 13% in 2020. Its bitcoin balance has undergone a significant reduction, declining by more than 62% since March of last year.
Those holdings were 117,510 BTC (~$3.8 billion) as of January 17, 2021, according to available data.
Both the March and October events have had a lasting negative impact on BitMEX, as The Block Research’s Lars Hoffmann wrote in a piece earlier this week.
Source: Coin Metrics, The Block Research
Source: Skew, The Block Research
Besides the two events, BitMEX’s mandatory KYC program announced last October also had an impact on the exchange's Web traffic. In light of that program — which ended in December — BitMEX said earlier this month that 100% of its users and volume is verified. As a result, BitMEX’s users now have to go through a KYC process to deposit, trade, or withdraw funds.
When reached, BitMEX declined to comment on its declining market share and bitcoin balance, but Ben Radclyffe, commercial director at parent company 100x Group told The Block that the exchange has seen "an uptick in new user sign-ups during and following the implementation of user verification" and that the exchange is on "pace for the highest number of new sign-ups to the platform since mid-2019."
The crypto market rally has spurred user sign-up growth across the ecosystem, according to market participants.
Radclyffe said BitMEX's competitive edge is its "performance, especially in light of the recent high-volume, high volatility period."
"BitMEX is extremely well-positioned to thrive in this emerging era which will be defined by greater mainstream adoption of crypto but also increased regulation," said Radclyffe.“We believe the future of this industry will belong to those who not only provide top-tier liquidity and innovation but also a trading environment that is an even playing field composed of verified users."
© 2023 The Block Crypto, Inc. 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.