Crypto Exchange Bittrex Closes Down U.S. Operations

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Popular cryptocurrency trading platform, Bittrex, has announced it will be ceasing operations in the United States beginning from next month. According to a post via their official Twitter handle, Bittrex states that this move comes as a result of the ongoing regulatory uncertainty surrounding the U.S. crypto space.

Ironically, Bittrex’s sad announcement comes amidst the company’s celebration of its ninth anniversary. The crypto exchange has assured its U.S. customers that all funds are safe and immediately available for withdrawal. 

Trading is expected to continue until April 14, 2023, although users are advised to have fully withdrawn their assets from the platform by April 30, 2023. It is worth stating that this closure is restricted to the U.S. alone as Bittrex operations will continue in other countries via its other branch Bittrex Global. 

‘Unclear’ U.S. Regulations Not Good For Crypto: Bittrex CEO 

Commenting on Bittrex’s latest announcement, Richie Lai, Co-founder and CEO of the company, stated that it was not “economically viable” to continue operations in the U.S. due to the country’s current regulatory system. 

He expressed that the present crypto regulations in the U.S. were rather ambiguous and had created an unfavorable business environment. 

“Regulatory requirements are often unclear and enforced without appropriate discussion or input, resulting in an uneven competitive landscape,” he said. 

Lai then went on to appreciate the success recorded by Bittrex in the U.S. while stating the company’s main focus will now be on its global branch.  

“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.,” he said.

Growing Concerns Over The U.S. Crypto Space

It is no news that the U.S. has been a rather crypto-hostile environment recently, with regulatory bodies cracking down on several crypto exchanges and businesses. 

In particular, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been at the forefront of this campaign with lawsuits against prominent crypto entities, including Terraform, Paxos, Kraken, and Gemini, to mention a few.

bittrex

Most of these lawsuits are centered around the SEC’s belief that most cryptocurrencies are securities whose operations should be regulated by the commission. However, it is worth stating that there is still no law that classifies cryptocurrencies as securities in the U.S. as the country still lacks a federal crypto regulatory framework. 

It is now clear to many that the current regulatory crackdown by the SEC and other financial regulatory bodies in the U.S. is beginning to scare key players in the crypto space. For all we know, Bittrex may just be the first of many to voluntarily halt operations in the U.S. to escape this brewing storm. 

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