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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

BitMEX, a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, has agreed to pay $100 million to settle charges by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network that it unlawfully operated in the United States.

Why it matters: U.S. regulators are cracking down on the cryptocurrency industry as new innovations like derivatives exchanges, "decentralized finance" protocols and others boom.

Of note: The announcement did not address the criminal charges filed by the U.S. Justice Department against ex-CEO Arthur Hayes and other executives.

  • Separately, BitMEX's co-founders shared the following statement via a spokesperson:
"Today, two agencies of the U.S. government announced civil settlements, which were on a no-admit-no-deny basis, with companies associated with the BitMEX trading platform. BitMEX co-founders Arthur Hayes, Ben Delo and Sam Reed were not parties to these settlements. As their defense will show, from the company’s earliest days, the co-founders sought to comply with applicable law as it developed over time. The actions against Arthur, Ben, and Sam by the U.S. authorities are unfounded and represent an unwarranted overreach. The co-founders look forward to defending themselves in court."

From a BitMex spokesperson:

We are pleased to have reached a resolution with both the CFTC and FinCEN and to put these matters behind us. As responsible innovators, we are continuously strengthening our compliance framework and have already delivered industry leading user verification and anti-money laundering controls which will remain at the centre of everything we do. We are committed to becoming a regulated exchange and are looking to set the benchmarks in this new era for crypto. This is the beginning of a new BitMEX and we’ve never been more confident in our potential for future growth.

Go deeper:

Editor's note: The story has been updated to include statements from BitMEX's co-founders and from BitMex.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Aug 11, 2021 - Economy & Business

Crypto gets captured

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Bitcoin is becoming part of the dollar-based financial system it once sought to displace.

Why it matters: Cryptocurrency is beloved by people who want to transact outside the reach of any government. But it's gotten mainstream enough that politicians and regulators want to co-opt it and bring it squarely within their own fields of influence — even using it to help pay for an infrastructure bill.

School enrollment fell by almost 3 million from 2019 to 2020

Kindergarten student Natalia Bayoumi holds the hand of her father Amir Bayoumi as he walks to the front door of Normont Elementary School in Harbor City, CA. Photo: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The number of individuals enrolled in the U.S. education system dropped by 2.9 million from 2019 to 2020, according to new data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.

Why it matters: This marks the lowest level of school enrollment for those under 35 years-old in over 20 years, per the Census Bureau.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Facebook paying up to $14M to settle employment discrimination claims

Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook has agreed to pay up to $14.25 million to settle allegations that it discriminated against U.S. workers by reserving positions for temporary visa holders, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The settlement represents the largest civil penalty and monetary award that the Civil Rights Division has recovered in the 35-year history of the Immigration and Nationality Act's anti-discrimination provision.