Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex is shutting down its U.S. operations due to “continued regulatory uncertainty” as U.S. regulators increase their enforcement efforts against cryptocurrency trading platforms. Regulatory requirements currently “are often unclear and enforced without appropriate discussion or input, resulting in an uneven competitive landscape,” Bittrex described.
Bittrex Exiting U.S. Crypto Market
Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex announced the shutdown of its U.S. operations on Friday. The exchange tweeted:
Due to continued regulatory uncertainty, we have made the difficult decision to wind down our U.S. operations, effective April 30, 2023.
“All funds are safe and can be fully withdrawn immediately,” the announcement adds, emphasizing that the closure does not affect non-U.S. customers using the Bittrex global platform.
Richie Lai, CEO and co-founder of Bittrex, explained: “It’s just not economically viable for us to continue to operate in the current U.S. regulatory and economic environment.” Noting that his trading platform turned nine years old this month, Lai opined:
Nine years later, the crypto ecosystem is very different. Regulatory requirements are often unclear and enforced without appropriate discussion or input, resulting in an uneven competitive landscape.
Bittrex noted that the last full day users can withdraw their cryptocurrency is April 29. Moreover, the last day to submit fiat withdrawals is April 24 at 5 p.m. PDT for wire and April 27 at 5 p.m. PDT for ACH.
In the U.S., cryptocurrency companies are facing increased regulatory scrutiny, as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is prioritizing enforcement efforts. The SEC has targeted multiple crypto firms, such as issuing a Wells notice to Coinbase and filing charges against Kraken over the exchange’s staking program.
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler recently asked for more funding for his agency to combat misconduct in the crypto space. He has claimed that all crypto tokens, except bitcoin, are securities. In addition, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has filed a complaint against Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ).
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