BitMEX, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency derivative trading platform, has just leaked thousands of customer emails in its latest customer support email.
Email privacy issue at BitMEX
In response to the horrifying gaffe that will lead many of its users to question the state of the exchange’s security, the company put out a simple statement on its blog.
“We are aware that some of our users have received a general user update email earlier today, which contained the email addresses of other users.”
We are aware of an email privacy issue impacting our customers. We have identified the root cause and will be in touch with any users affected by the issue. See our blog for details: https://t.co/FNp2Fdyxdn
— BitMEX (@BitMEXdotcom) November 1, 2019
BitMEX insisted that customer privacy was its “top priority” and apologised for the unfortunate incident. A statement read:
“We are very sorry for the concern this has caused to our users.”
The largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume confirmed that it acted immediately upon discovering the leak. The exchange is now working to “contain the issue”.
That will come as little comfort to the BitMEX traders whose email addresses are now floating around in cyberspace.
However, BitMEX has promised that it will contact any affected users. The company has also assured them that its team is doing everything possible to “identify the root cause of the fault”.
Responses to the leak were mixed. Some users took it with humour, with comments on the company’s Twitter feed such as:
“Give me back all the liquidated positions and we are fine Arthur, no biggie.”
Give me back all the liquidated positions and we are fine Arthur, no biggie.
— Crypto Rand (@crypto_rand) November 1, 2019
Another user replied in a similar vein:
“Distribute some BTC from your insurance fund and we’ll all be happy.”
However, other BitMEX users are outraged. They are questioning how anyone can trust BitMEX after this. One angry user went as far as to say that he would no longer be using the exchange:
“Great job to say goodbye to every client you have ever had. Solid work team.”
Others questioned how it is possible for the company to now “contain the issue” given that the email has already been sent.
Could BitMEX get in trouble with the regulators?
For now, the story is still emerging. It seems that BitMEX will update its customers as and when it has more information. However, the consequences of such a leak could be severe for the Seychelles-registered company.
As one user pointed out, BitMEX has shared personal information of its users without their consent. Granted, it may have been an accident, but the issue may well thrust the unregulated exchange under the spotlight of the General Data Protection Regulation.
These is a significant liability here. @BitMEXdotcom has shared, without express permission, personal details with, well, anyone really. The consequences could be severe for those individuals. So Bitmex should be in trouble. @GDPR_Europe
— DS (@TSI_Dave) November 1, 2019
After a year fraught with investigations by the CFTC over BitMEX allegedly allowing Americans to trade on the platform, another run-in with the regulators is probably the last thing Mr Hayes wants right now.