Bittrex Global, a crypto exchange, is halting operations in the wake of its US counterpart's closure earlier this year. Trading on the platform will cease on December 4. The customers are advised to finalise transactions by then, after which only withdrawals will be possible. The exchange, regulated in Liechtenstein and Bermuda, did not disclose the reason for the shutdown.
Oliver Linch, Bittrex Global CEO previously expressed determination to strongly contest the SEC charges. The company stated, "It is with great regret that we announce that Bittrex Global has decided to wind down its operations. This decision was not made lightly, and we understand the inconvenience it may have on our valued customers."
The announcement highlights the challenges confronting crypto exchanges amidst heightened regulatory scrutiny, leading some crypto exchanges to choose closure over navigating legal complexities. Bittrex Global's decision to wind down operations follows its US arm's closure and legal battles with the SEC.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revealed a settlement with crypto trading platform Bittrex Inc., its co-founder William Shihara, and Bittrex Global GmbH over charges filed in April.
Accused of operating an unregistered national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency, Bittrex and Shihara agreed to a permanent injunction, while Bittrex Global settled charges for failing to register as a national securities exchange.
The settlement, pending court approval, involves the defendants paying a joint and several sum of $24 million, covering disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty. Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, criticised Bittrex's actions, stating they worked to eliminate indications of investment contracts from online statements to bypass federal securities laws.
SEC has taken several enforcement actions against some other major crypto firms in this year. These crypto firms include Coinbase and Binance. Bittrex did not disclose the reasons behind the shutdown of its operations. But it was facing issues with the security concerns being a crypto exchange.