Bittrex shuts down US crypto exchange amid regulatory crackdown on crypto industry
Bittrex crypto exchange is the latest casualty of the ongoing chaos in the crypto industry. Today, Bittrex announced its shutting down its US-based crypto exchange due to “regulatory uncertainty.” The company said on Friday that it would wind down its U.S. operations a month from today.
In a statement on Friday, the exchange said it was not “economically viable” to continue doing business in the United States but reassured customers that their funds are safe and should be withdrawn by April 30, while trading will continue for clients until April 14.
“Due to continued regulatory uncertainty, we have made the difficult decision to close our U.S. operations, effective April 30, 2023. All U.S. customer funds are safe and can be fully withdrawn immediately. This announcement does not impact non-U.S. customers using Bittrex Global. For more information, click here,”
The news comes just a month after Bittrex laid off 83 employees amid unfavorable macroeconomic market conditions. The news makes Bittrex the second exchange to shut down this week. On Wednesday,the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shut down the Beaxy crypto exchange and also sued its founder for SEC violations.
The SEC charged Beaxy founder, Artak Hamazaspyan, and a company under his control, Beaxy Digital, Ltd. for conducting an unregistered offering of the Beaxy token (BXY) and raising $8 million.
Bittrex was founded in 2014 by three cybersecurity engineers: Bill Shihara (Co-founder & CEO), Richie Lei, Rami Kawach, and Ryan Hentz. The exchange is the premier US-based blockchain platform, providing lightning-fast trade execution, dependable digital wallets, and industry-leading security practices. Our mission is to help advance the blockchain industry by fostering innovation, incubating new and emerging technology, and driving transformative change. Bittrex, Inc. is not a regulated exchange under U.S. securities laws.
You can read the full statement below.
“Today is a bittersweet day. This month we turned nine years old; and while I am excited and proud that we’ve come this far, I am also very sad. Today, Bittrex is beginning the process of winding down its U.S. operations. Don’t worry – all customer funds are safe and available to withdraw; however, it’s just not economically viable for us to continue to operate in the current U.S. regulatory and economic environment.
Back in 2013, when the three of us built Bittrex, it was about technology. Taking nascent crypto technology and making it better with our vast experience of enterprise software and security knowledge. We built technology that was ahead of everyone at the time. Full-service API. Near instant atomic transactions. Wallet infrastructure, handling more wallets than anyone. Offline cold wallet solutions. We’ve never lost funds or been hacked. It was technology, simple and elegant. We said we would be the most secure and fairest trading platform out there while treating our customers fairly. No hidden deals. No special treatment. We never took shortcuts.
Nine years later, the crypto ecosystem is very different. Regulatory requirements are often unclear and enforced without appropriate discussion or input, resulting in an uneven competitive landscape.
In the end, we made great strides toward accomplishing our goal of maturing the crypto space. However, operating in the U.S. is no longer feasible and Bill, Rami and I will focus on helping Bittrex Global succeed outside the U.S.
As I mentioned above, all customer funds are safe, here and ready for your retrieval (for users with KYC requirements met). We will permit trading until April 14, 2023, and you should withdraw all your funds by April 30, 2023. A timeline of important dates as well as an FAQ are located here to provide further information.
I’ve truly enjoyed being a part of this revolution and will continue to be involved in this space. Thanks to all the Bittrex users over the years that made us who we are.
See ya around the blockchain,