BitMEX’s Acquisition of Bankhaus von der Heydt is Another Step in the Rehabilitation of the Crypto Trading Platform

Last week, BitMEX announced its intent to acquire Bankhaus von der Heydt. The deal is actually structured so that BXM Operations AG, founded by BitMEX CEO  Alexander Höptner and CFO Stephan Lutz, will acquire the bank located in Munich, Germany. While the purchase is subject to the standard approvals of BaFin, the acquisition should propel BitMEX forward in its quest to offer a regulatory compliant crypto exchange operating in Europe. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 1745, Bankhaus von der Heydt has been open to Fintech innovation. Last fall, the privately-owned bank announced a partnership with Fireblocks to expand into digital assets and provide crypto custody.

For BitMEX, it aims to offer a single location for regulated crypto in Europe, and around the world,  starting with DACH countries.

BitMEX noted that the announced acquisition was preceded by the launch of BitMEX Link in Europe, a brokerage service based in Switzerland that facilitates trading in digital assets. Bankhaus von der Heydt is viewed as “the next step in the Group’s European expansion and product development.”

Bankhaus von der Heydt’s current owner, Dietrich von Boetticher, has signed a purchase agreement, which will be completed following BaFin’s regulatory approval. The transaction is expected to be complete in mid-2022.

Once the purchase is completed it is expected that the bank will continue to be operated as a standalone business unit, with Höptner and Lutz, both German joining its supervisory board.

Höptner explained that by combining the regulated digital assets expertise of Bankhaus von der Heydt with the scale of BitMEX, they believe they can create a “regulated crypto products powerhouse in the heart of Europe.”

BitMEX has endured a period of change following the ouster of its founder and a series of compliance issues. In late 2021, BitMEX revealed that it had reached a “resolution” with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The appointment of Höptner as CEO has been a key move to reanimate the platform that was once best known for leveraged crypto derivatives trading. Höptner was previously CEO of Börse Stuttgart, and before that he worked at Deutsche Börse AG. While at Börse Stuttgar, Höptner championed the transition to digital assets but clearly he understands the traditional financial ecosystem and the stringent demands for regulatory compliance.

As for BitMEX it claims that it is “growing rapidly” under its “beyond derivatives” strategy. Soon it anticipates it will launch a spot marketplace for crypto trading as well as offering brokerage and custody services. The bank will be a key factor in BitMEX’s future.

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