Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex, which faced financial troubles in May of this year, has officially declared the cessation of its operations
The platform is set to halt trading activities on December 4, 2023, and users will have the opportunity to withdraw their funds thereafter. While no specific deadline for fund withdrawal has been specified, representatives from the exchange strongly recommend users to initiate the process as soon as possible.
Established in 2014 by software engineers with backgrounds at Amazon and Microsoft, Bittrex became the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States and the third-largest globally by 2017. In 2019, the exchange underwent a split, creating separate international and U.S. platforms, resulting in a notable reduction in trading volume for the latter.
The U.S. unit of Bittrex filed for bankruptcy on May 8, following a lawsuit from the SEC on April 17 against Bittrex and its co-founder, former CEO William Sheahar. The SEC alleged that the platform functioned as an unregistered securities exchange, brokerage, and clearing agency from 2017 to 2022, generating over $1.3 billion in revenue.
In an attempt to expedite the return of customer assets without prolonged legal processes, Bittrex requested permission in mid-May. However, U.S. authorities opposed this request in June, labeling it as "improper."
Further complications arose in July when the Florida Office of Financial Regulation accused Bittrex of violating state laws, filing a complaint for fraud ahead of the company's bankruptcy. Court documents revealed that the exchange commingled client assets with operational capital and disregarded certain liabilities.
The Bank of Russia added Bittrex to its list of companies with signs of illegal activity in the financial market in September 2021, citing indications of a financial pyramid scheme on the platform. Additionally, in late 2022, Bittrex incurred a $24 million fine from U.S. authorities for violating sanctions.
As of now, there is no specified timeline for the withdrawal of funds from existing deposits, and Bittrex users are urged to proceed with the withdrawal process promptly to secure their assets.
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