Liechtenstein-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Global has announced it plans to wind down operations, starting with the suspension of trading activity on Dec. 4.
In a Nov. 20 update published to its website, Bittrex Global said all users with U.S. dollar holdings needed to convert their funds to euros or cryptocurrency before Dec. 4 or risk being unable to withdraw the assets. On Dec. 4, the platform will suspend trading activities and only allow certain withdrawals.
“This decision was not made lightly, and we understand the inconvenience it may have on our valued customers,” said Bittrex Global.
The platform added:
“Do not make any deposits to our platform. We cannot guarantee that they will be received safely. If you do send a deposit, your funds may be permanently lost as a result of the attempted transfer.”
It is with great regret that we inform you that Bittrex Global has decided to wind down its operations.— Bittrex Global (@BittrexGlobal) November 20, 2023
Effective Monday 4 December 2023, all trading activity on Bittrex Global will be disabled. After that date, customers will only be able to withdraw assets as part of the…
The announcement came roughly nine months after its United States-based arm, Bittrex, said it planned to wind down operations in the country starting on April 30 “due to continued regulatory uncertainty.” In April, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Bittrex for operating as an unregistered exchange, broker and clearing agency.
“Everything factored in [the decision to wind down] but actually what we found much more than the actual SEC action and what came out of that is the U.S. regulatory position,” Bittrex Global CEO Oliver Linch told Cointelegraph. “Although we were never in the U.S. and never had U.S. customers, what happens in the U.S. affects the whole world. The regulatory uncertainty that permeates the U.S. market is having an impact on the rest of the world.”
Bittrex filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. bankruptcy court in May and settled its case with the SEC for $24 million in penalties and interest in August. The platform reopened withdrawals for users following approval in Delaware bankruptcy court.
The SEC also charged Bittrex Global in April “in connection with its operation of a single shared order book along with Bittrex.” It’s unclear whether the regulator’s actions contributed to the crypto exchange, headquartered in Liechtenstein, announcing the winding down of operations.
Update (Nov. 21 at 5:46 PM UTC): This article has been updated to include a statement from Bittrex Global CEO Oliver Linch.