BXM Operations AG, founded by BitMEX CEO Alexander Höptner and CFO Stephan Lutz, was expected to close on the acquisition of the bank at some point in 2022. Terms were not announced at the time of the deal.
Bankhaus von der Heydt, founded in 1754, has been known to embrace Fintech innovations and, in many respects, an acquisition made a lot of sense as BitMEX sought to become a digital financial services platform of the future – similar to what some other digital asset platforms are pursuing in other jurisdictions.
First reported by FinanceFWD, the update quoted Höptner as the two companies mutually decided not to pursue the acquisition.
Ensuing reports indicated that BitMEX has since let go of some employees as it reassess its roadmap.
BitMEX has not issued a formal statement on the failure of the deal, which is a bit odd.
As with any financial transaction of this kind, BaFIN, the German financial regulator, may have played a role in the decision to exit the purchase. BaFIN has not always been very supportive of financial innovation – even more so following the Wirecard debacle.
BitMEX has had a bumpy history as a crypto-derivatives exchange. Its founders exited the firm following an enforcement action by the Securities and Exchange Commission that ended in a significant financial penalty. The selection of Höptner to manage BitMEX was a solid move in pushing the crypto platform into a compliant operation. Höptner previously was CEO of Börse Stuttgart, where he embraced Fintech while clearly understanding legacy markets and regulatory demands.
BitMEX is expected to offer crypto spot trading later this year but additional, bank-like services may take a back seat – at least for now.