Global crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX is expanding its platform beyond just derivatives by finally launching a spot crypto trading platform.

BitMEX officially announced on May 17 that its spot crypto exchange, the BitMEX Spot Exchange, is now live, allowing retail and institutional investors to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

At launch, the exchange supports seven pairs of cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, Chainlink (LINK), Uniswap (UNI), Polygon (MATIC), Axie Infinity (AXS) and ApeCoin (APE), all trading against the Tether stablecoin (USDT).

The launch of the BitMEX Spot Exchange comes as the company plans to become one of the top ten largest spot exchanges in the world. The company decided to build its own spot exchange last year in response to the increasing crypto trading demand from its current user base, according to the announcement.

“Today, BitMEX is one step closer to providing our users with a full crypto ecosystem to buy, sell and trade their favorite digital assets. We will not rest as we aim to deliver more features, more trading pairs, and more ways for our clients to take part in the crypto revolution,” BitMEX CEO Alexander Höpner said.

"This is a momentous day for the transformation of BitMEX and our ‘beyond derivatives’ strategy," BitMEX Spot Exchange vice president Genia Mickhalchenko said. The new ecosystem will include a number of products, including interest bearing products, the exec told Cointelegraph.

Founded in 2014, BitMEX is one of the world’s largest and oldest crypto trading companies and started to provide its services about six years after Bitcoin was launched. Unlike spot exchanges, BitMEX has been mainly focusing on derivatives, allowing users to buy and sell contracts like futures, options and perpetuals on a wide range of crypto assets.

At the time of writing, BitMEX is one of the top 30 biggest derivatives crypto trading platforms, with daily trading volume amounting to $841 million, according to data from CoinMarketCap. BitMEX was ranked one of the biggest derivatives platforms by open interest alongside Binance as of 2020.

BitMEX has faced some legal issues recently, with founders Arthur Hayes and Hong Konger Benjamin Delo pleading guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act in February 2022. The court eventually ordered a total of $30 million civil monetary penalties from the three co-founders of the BitMEX crypto derivatives exchange in March.

Related: The Brazilian Stock Exchange will launch Bitcoin and Ethereum futures

The firm also reportedly laid off about 75 employees — or a quarter of the company’s staff — in April, following a failed acquisition of the German bank Bankhaus von der Heyd.

Disclaimer: The title of this article was updated to reflect that BitMEX itself was not fined by the court as no BitMEX entity was a party to the CFTC’s case mentioned in the article. Please disregard the information in the article’s URL.