Bittrex, a cryptocurrency exchange, has announced that it will be closing its operations in the United States, citing rising pressure from regulators as well as a lack of clear legal requirements.
Richie Lai, one of the co-founders of Bittrex, announced the company’s intention to cease operations in the United State by the end of April in a blog post published on Friday. He also stated that beginning on April 14th, individuals from the United States will no longer be permitted to engage in trading on the platform.
According to what Lai said in the statement, “it’s just not fiscally sustainable for us to continue to operate in the current regulatory and economic environment in the United States.”
Because regulatory standards are frequently ambiguous and are implemented in a manner that does not allow for adequate discussion or feedback, an uneven competitive landscape results. It is no longer possible to conduct business in the United States.
Lai gave the users his assurance that all of their funds were secure and that they could withdraw them at any time.
Bittrex is a cryptocurrency exchange that is situated in the United States and was established in 2014 by three former employees of Amazon. The company specializes in the trade of paired cryptocurrencies. The exchange is compatible with more than 250 different cryptocurrencies.
The Office of Foreign Asset Control and the Financial Crime Enforcement Network of the U.S. Treasury Department fined Bittrex $53 million last year because it didn’t stop customers from Iran, Cuba, and other sanctioned countries from using its platform. This decision to wind down operations in the United States comes as a result of this fine.
The platform was ordered to suspend operations in the state of New York by state regulators, who cited concerns over the platform’s capacity to detect instances of money laundering and comply with sanctions. The exchange has also been the target of regulatory scrutiny in the state of New York.
According to data provided by CoinGecko, the trading volume on Bittrex was around $17 million over the course of the previous twenty-four hours. This is in contrast to Coinbase, which has a volume of $1.4 billion, and Binance, which has a volume of $10 billion.
The United States of America Steps Up Its Crackdown on Cryptocurrencies
As a direct response to the disastrous failure of FTX and a number of other prominent digital asset enterprises, US regulators have recently increased the amount of attention they pay to crypto companies.
The cryptocurrency lending company Nexo made the announcement that it would exit the US market in December of 2018 after receiving orders to stop selling its interest-earning products from a number of different states. In addition, the business has stipulated that it would pay $22.5 million to end the multistate legal dispute.
In a similar vein, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has struck a settlement with the cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, which requires the company to stop providing staking services or programs to customers in the country and pay a punishment of $30 million.
In addition, the agency has threatened Paxos, a US-registered company that issues Binance’s stablecoin, known as Binance USD (BUSD), with legal action because of Paxos’s issuance of BUSD tokens. This is because of the agency’s concerns regarding the BUSD tokens. The agency stated that BUSD should be treated as an unregistered security, notwithstanding its lack of registration.
And more recently, the regulator has issued a “Wells notice” to the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, Coinbase. This notice threatens legal action against the platform in relation to some of the digital assets that are listed on Coinbase, as well as its staking service Coinbase Earn, Coinbase Prime, and Coinbase Wallet.
A harsh regulatory stance taken by the SEC, according to the warnings of some industry professionals, could force the cryptocurrency business to relocate outside of the United States.
In a recent blog post, a top lawyer at Coinbase named Daniel Seifert stated that other nations are willing to fill the void that the United States of America has created. “we take immense pride in being an American firm. It is difficult to be a bystander and see the United States fritter away the chance that has been presented to it.
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