Sat. Jul 2nd, 2022

Cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX as well as its founder Arthur Hayes have been slapped with a $300 million lawsuit by a self-proclaimed angel investor. According to a report in Bloomberg, RGB Coin and Frank Amato filed a complaint in a San Francisco, Calif. court on Dec. 4 alleging fraud. The plaintiffs claim that they were BitMEX’s first angel investors, having backed the exchange with $30,000 back in 2015. The lawsuit further alleges that the investment should have been converted into equity, which would be worth more than $50 million, but that never happened. As a result, Amato and RGB Coin believe they were strung along and are suing the Seychelles-based cryptocurrency trading platform.

Source: Bloomberg Markets and Finance/YouTube

The plaintiffs are looking to recover the equity they believe is due them, approximately $50 million, in addition to punitive damages worth $250 million. Bloomberg places a $1 billion valuation on BitMEX.

Incidentally, both the plaintiff and defendant are both former Wall Street traders, Amato at JPMorgan and Hayes at Citi and Deutsche Bank.

Meanwhile, the lawsuit is the latest in a series of headaches for BitMEX, which is still recovering from a data breach that rocked the exchange last month. In that security breach, customer email addresses were shared with other users, which given the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies was a slap in the face to customers. Over the summer months, BitMEX was reportedly the target of a probe by U.S. regulators. BitMEX suffered massive withdrawals of more than $80 million in bitcoin at the time. The exchange appears to have recovered, with BTC trading volume currently hovering at $1.6 billion.

Crypto Exchange Landscape

The competition among cryptocurrency exchanges has never been so fierce, with companies jockeying for position and grasping for market share in a down market. ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees pointed out today that his exchange’s “trading rates are consistently better than Coinbase Pro and Gemini,” as per CoinCap data.

Source: Twitter

Crypto exchanges have been diversifying and expanding into new markets to capture more revenue while the bitcoin price remains stuck. Crypto exchange Coinbase remains one of the most highly valued crypto unicorns, with a valuation of more than $8 billion. Meanwhile, fundamentals suggest a bull run could be right around the corner.

A Bloomberg article states that bitcoin $10,000 will be the next resistance for the BTC price in 2020. The author points to the growing adoption of bitcoin, determining that this trend will serve as a tailwind for the BTC price not only in 2020 but in the coming decade, too. For instance, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has pledged to move to Africa for three-to-six months in mid-2020 where he says, “Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!).” The continent boasts a population of more than 1.2 billion people.

Source: Bloomberg

As bitcoin matures, the volatility in the price should subside, which can pave the way both for more retail and institutional investors and also bolster the cryptocurrency’s use case as a payment method. It’s a double edged sword considering the greater the volatility, the more money exchanges such as BitMEX make as it supports margin trading.