BitMEX Forbidden For US Traders?

BitMEX USABitMEX is world’s No1 margin trading platform for Bitcoin. In July 2018, believe it or not, the big broker firm reached 1,000,000 Bitcoin being traded on their platform on a single day. At a price level of round about 7000 USD that’s a total US Dollar value of about 7 billion.

BitMEX is the only broker where Bitcoin can be traded with up to 100x leverage which is one of the most outstanding features of the Bitcoin broker. Also they have a highly professional trading engine featuring advanced order types such as stop orders, trailing stops, take profit orders and a range of other helpful settings to automate processes. Once you’ve got how the system works you see that it’s super fast and easy to manage.

The extremely high daily trading volume was even reached in a time when US traders had already been banned since a while. And the US are among the leading countries in terms of cryptocurrency trading in the world.

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Why Are US Customers Not Allowed Anymore To Trade on Bitmex?

At some point in 2017 BitMEX suddenly announced that they were about to disallow people from the US as traders on their platform. Really strange – this decision could obviously not be in their own interest since they would accept losing a remarkable amount of turnover. So the background must be some political pressure or fear of the United States to cause them problems if BitMEX doesn’t comply with their legal regulations.

US citizens are banned from BitMEX due to local laws in the US – basically the broker platform isn’t authorized by the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), which is the base requirement for any trading platform to offer service in the US.

But are there for sure no US citizens trading anymore on BitMEX? It seems like the trading volume statistics could include an unrecorded number of US traders as we’ve found out that people from the United States are able to bypass the broker’s ban quite easily.

On the internet we find a lot of information that there are still US traders using the platform since technically there are still ways left to do so. The crux of the matter is just to know how.

Is There A Chance To Still Trade On Bitmex?

Although US traders are legally not allowed to trade on BitMEX anymore, it is technically possible to still benefit from the broker’s products and features when using the right access setup. At least this is what we found out when doing some research about the topic online.

This setup to still use BitMEX as a US citizen includes 2 major points:

Before opening the website in order to sign up on BitMEX for a new trading account, users must use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to hide their US location behind a foreign IP address. The VPN simply routes your traffic through a server that is located in another country, so the websites you visit will think that you are from the country your traffic is routed through.

It’s of course important to use an IP of one of those countries that are for sure allowed, like one from Europe or an Australian one, for instance. Additionally, VPNs encrypt your data traffic so the data sent cannot be read by third parties. That’s why Virtual Private Networks are used as a protection against surveillance and spying. Users can surf anonymously and securely.

NordVPN and ExpressNPN among the VPN providers with the highest amount of servers on earth, their longterm subscriptions are very affordable, not worth mentioning for a profitable margin trader. A few Dollars per month for a secured data connection that is entirely private due to highest encryption standards sounds fair. For a new signup on BitMEX use this coupon link to get 10% discount on the trading fees for half a year.

While having the VPN connection enabled, US citizens can then sign up by specifying another country of residence in their account. And that’s pretty much it. Using a VPN to get a foreign IP address and filling in another country of residence are the steps to get a BitMEX trading account even as someone from New York, Washington State or somewhere else in the United States. US traders have to constantly use the VPN again when using the broker platform.

Please note: This article is not meant as an advice to people from the States, it’s just an objective report about a finding how US traders achieve to bypass the BitMEX ban.

BitMEX Doesn’t Claim ID Verifications By Default

The thing is that BitMEX doesn’t claim any ID verification steps by default. While other brokers demand a full ID verification in order to enable an unrestricted trader account with higher withdrawal limits (or unlimited ones) or to be able to deposit and withdraw fiat money by wire transfer – that’s all not the case at BitMEX.

They don’t ask for verification by default, they never want to have more from customers than a user name, a password and a country of residence – since they only allow BTC deposits and withdrawals they don’t need more from their users. ID verifications usually have to do with banks being involved in money transfers from or to the broker. Since this is not possible at BitMEX there seems to be no need for IDs. So there is only one kind of account, which is unrestricted from the beginning.

Nevertheless A Ban For US Traders

However, in their terms & conditions BitMEX state that US residents or people just located in the US are forbidden. Furthermore, they could demand an ID verification at any time. But that warning doesn’t seem to be something to worry about since ID checks don’t seem to be actually being practiced. At least you don’t ever hear anything at all about BitMEX checking their customers. But that’s just an impression we have. Traders who frequently withdraw their gains and don’t leave their BTC on the platform are save in any case.

So still there seem to be US traders who solve the ban problem by making use of a VPN, like people in this reddit thread also mention. Here is another reddit post about the same question.

Please note: If you should be from the US and still take the risk of trading on BitMEX, you must be aware that they could freeze your account once they might find out the truth, e.g by suddenly claiming an ID verification. Then your account balance could get lost in case they don’t let you login anymore.

When Will BitMEX Again Be Officially Available To US Citizens?

There is no information if and when US citizens might ever be allowed again on BitMEX. So the ban doesn’t seem something temporary, but more of a general decision due to US laws that are likely not exceptional short term laws.

So Which Countries Are Allowed?

The only geo restrictions mentioned in BitMEX’s terms and conditions is concerning the USA. The rest of the world is generally allowed. However, if you come from a country that bans crypto related sites by default you might possibly not be able to visit BitMEX. That’s again a case where virtual private networks are being used to bypass the ban. From BitMEX’s side such users might even be able to fill in their real country of residence, since BitMEX shouldn’t care in that case. But that’s just our personal appraisement and must be tested.


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Disclaimer: This post is not financial advice. It’s only shared information based on our own research and experience. Under no circumstances is the author responsible for the trading activities of readers. We are neither liable for legal issues nor financial losses of readers.

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