Crypto exchange Bittrex announced on Friday that it would suspend its U.S. operations by April 30 due to regulatory hurdles.
American cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex announced on March 31 that it would suspend its operations in the United States. The exchange said it was not “economically viable” to continue doing business in the U.S. The exchange added that its Bittrex Global platform, which serves traders in Europe, Canada, and South America, would remain unaffected.
Bittrex said in a statement that customer funds were safe but should be withdrawn by April 30. It added that trading on its platform will continue until April 14.
Bittrex CEO and co-founder Ritchie Lai said on Twitter:
It’s just not economically viable for us to continue to operate in the current U.S. regulatory and economic environment. Regulatory requirements are often unclear and enforced without appropriate discussion or input, resulting in an uneven competitive landscape. Operating in the U.S. is no longer feasible.
Bittrex’s decision comes amid harsh regulatory scrutiny by the U.S. in recent months. The most recent to suffer under the increased oversight are Coinbase and Binance. Crypto exchange Coinbase was recently issued with a Wells Notice from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
In a shocking twist, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced it was bringing a lawsuit against Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao. The commission alleges that CZ has allowed U.S. residents to buy and sell crypto derivatives since 2019. In doing so, the CFTC explains that any entity offering such services should have registered with the CFTC.
The increased regulatory scrutiny first became concerning to the industry when the SEC accused crypto exchange Kraken of the unlawful offer and sale of securities through its staking program. The exchange reached a settlement with the SEC, agreeing to shutter its staking program and pay a $30 million fine.
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