Crypto exchange Bittrex files for bankruptcy as regulators crackdown on crypto industry intensifies
Bittrex crypto exchange is the latest casualty of the ongoing chaos and government crackdown on the crypto industry. Bittrex filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday following allegations from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it operated an unregistered securities exchange.
As we reported last month, the Seattle-based startup halted its U.S. operations on April 30, but the bankruptcy filing will not affect Bittrex Global, which caters to customers outside of the United States. Bittrex Global is headquartered in Liechtenstein.
According to the bankruptcy petition filed in a Wilmington, Delaware court, Bittrex reported assets and liabilities ranging from $500 million to $1 billion.
The company also disclosed that it still holds cryptocurrency assets belonging to its U.S. customers who failed to withdraw their funds before April 30. Bittrex assured that these assets remain “safe and secure.” The company plans to request a partial re-opening of customer accounts from the bankruptcy court to facilitate the distribution of the crypto assets back to their respective owners.
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.