BitMEX, a crypto trading platform, has found a clever way around some European regulatory problems by purchasing a 268-year-old German bank, Bankhaus von der Heydt.
What happened: The crypto exchange is angling to make itself the “regulated crypto powerhouse in the heart of Europe” by acquiring Bankhaus von der Heydt. While von der Heydt is one of the oldest banks on the Continent, it was one of the first banks in Germany to adopt banking 2.0 services like tokenization, efficient payment transfers and providing secure market access.
- BitMEX and von der Heydt agreed on terms, but both parties are choosing not to disclose any financial details.
- The deal still has to be approved by Germany’s banking regulator, BaFin.
Why it matters: It’s the first step in a strategy to merge TradFi (we’re kicking off that rebrand right now) and DeFi services within one institution in order to avoid any regulatory missteps. BitMEX has struggled with regulatory obstacles in the past: it is still navigating through litigation with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and was fined $100 million by the US agency in October 2020 for operating an unregulated trading platform.
- Partnering with a well-established bank that already offers a range of digital assets, BitMEX can maximize its own crypto innovation and scale to gain more share of the market and try to shake off the bad rap of unregulated trading.
Big picture: Crypto firms are expanding into traditional banking spaces more and more, with companies like Coinbase and Kraken offering mortgages. Now BitMEX is betting that traditional financial institutions themselves have value to add to the crypto space.