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Bittrex shutters US operations due to regulatory uncertainty

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Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex, Inc. will wind down its U.S. operations from April 30, the exchange announced on Saturday, citing continued regulatory uncertainty in the region.

See related article: DeGods begins migration to Ethereum

Fast facts

  • “Regulatory requirements are often unclear and enforced without appropriate discussion or input, resulting in an uneven competitive landscape,” Bittrex Chief Executive Officer Richie Lai wrote in the statement, explaining that such an environment has made operating in the U.S. unfeasible.  
  • The exchange said that trading will be allowed on the platform until April 14, and all customer funds are safe and available.
  • Bittrex added that it would focus on the growth of Bittrex Global, its Liechtenstein-based trading arm serving investors outside the U.S.
  • In February, Bittrex laid off 83 employees, citing a market downturn triggered by “multiple failures in the crypto ecosystem.”
  • U.S. regulators have recently been clamping down on local stablecoin issuers and crypto staking service providers, as the Securities and Exchange Commission claimed both violated the local securities law.
  • While Kraken exchange has since shuttered its staking services, Coinbase CEO Ben Armstrong argued that crypto staking services should not be classified as financial securities, and that the company will “happily defend” this stance in court if needed.
  • Last week, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sued Binance and CEO Changpeng Zhao for allegedly violating rules on financial derivatives by soliciting investors in the U.S. despite not having permission to do so. Zhao has rejected the CFTC’s allegations.

See related article: Crypto platforms need regulation as form of investor protection: HK’s SFC chief

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