Arthur Hayes Is Back in the Spotlight — Where Has the Crypto King Been?

Former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes surrendered to authorities following FBI criminal charges. We have details on his sentence and net worth.

Rachel Curry - Author

Mar. 23 2023, Updated 10:48 a.m. ET

Arthur Hayes
Source: Getty Images

After co-founder and former CEO of BitMEX Arthur Hayes went MIA in October 2020, the FBI investigation trucked forward. By April 2021, Hayes had surrendered himself to U.S. authorities after touching down in Honolulu, New York Magazine reported. He later plead guilty to a single charge and was ordered to pay a hefty fine.

So, what happened to Arthur Hayes and where does his net worth now stand?

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The rise and fall of Hayes follows a similar pattern of that of disgraced crypto legend Sam Bankman-Fried. The only difference (and it's a biggie) is that Hayes "has never been accused of taking anything that didn't belong to him," like the others (allegedly) had, per New York Magazine.

But, now that Hayes is back in the spotlight and possibly ready to dip his hands back into the crypto space, people have questions about what he did and whether he has maintained his fortune. Here's what we know.

Arthur Hayes

Banker, Businessman, co-founder of BitMEX

Net worth: $500 million (unconfirmed)

Arthur Hayes is the co-founder and former CEO of BitMEX, a cryptocurrency trading platform. In October 2020, Hayes stepped down from his leadership role and was replaced by Alexander Hoptner.

Born: 1985

Birthplace: Detroit, Mich.

Education: Attended Nichols School

Attended Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania

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Despite turmoil, Arthur Hayes's net worth is still sizeable.

Arthur Hayes
Source: Twitter/@CryptoHayes

Hayes has experienced a lot of success in his life, particularly considering his modest roots from a working-class family. At the end of 2017, BitMEX was handling an average of $2.1 billion in trades per day. The company acquired a $3.6 billion net worth by February 2020. Now, it's liquidating bitcoin derivatives contracts at a rapid pace.

As the founder of BitMEX, Hayes likely retained a large chunk of the company's revenue. However, the charges against him suggest that he and fellow indicted BitMEX executives swindled as much as $440 million. While Hayes's net worth isn't public information, some speculate that he's worth $500 million. Of course, that figure should be taken with a grain of salt.

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The epic rise and fall of BitMEX impacted founder Arthur Hayes.

BitMEX logo
Source: Getty Images

Arthur Hayes stepped down as CEO of BitMEX in October 2020.

After getting fired from his job as an ETF market maker for Deutsche Bank and Citibank in 2013, Hayes developed BitMEX. The platform serves as a way for people to use Bitcoin to conduct international trading. BitMEX does this through the use of derivatives — a type of contract where the value comes from the performance of a specified underlying asset. In this case, that asset is bitcoin cryptocurrency.

In 2015, BitMEX had to ban U.S. traders from their platform. BitMEX, which conducted derivatives contracts, wasn't approved by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). However, Hayes and others with a hand in BitMEX was charged with facilitating unregistered trades. They were also charged with violating the Bank Secrecy Act as well as conspiracy to violate the act.

The Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions to take cautionary measures to prevent acts like money laundering and counter-terrorist financing.

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Hayes eventually plead guilty to one charge of violating the Bank Secrecy Act and was ordered to pay a $10 million fine. He was also sentenced to six months of house arrest, which he completed at his Miami Beach home. In January 2023, Hayes finished his six months of house arrest and is now focused on his next move.

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Lately, Hayes has been quite active on Twitter talking all things crypto. He has also been discussing his thoughts on bitcoin, suggesting that it still has significant potential.

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U.S. customers can't use BitMEX — here's why.

Despite the fact that BitMEX doesn't allow U.S. customers to access its services, the CFTC says that isn't what really went down during the Hayes "crypto scandal." Reportedly, BitMEX conducted "significant aspects of its business from the U.S. and [accepted] orders and funds from U.S. customers."

Users who are based in the U.S. were able to access BitMEX services through the use of a VPN.

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BitMEX app
Source: BitMEX Twitter

BitMEX cannot be accessed by U.S. citizens.

While the government still has its eye on Hayes, some say his story is the classic fight of banks versus the people. Big banks have historically pushed back against the development of the blockchain economy. This decentralized, limited currency puts pressure on the dollar in ways that make institutions uncomfortable. Now, organizations like JPMorgan, CBOE, and even Hayes' former employer Citigroup have prioritized bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

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