- Bittrex has announced the closure of its global operations following the shutdown of its US arm earlier in the year
- Bittrex Global will cease all trading operations on December 4 following tens of millions in fines over the past year
- Founded in 2014, Bittrex was a popular exchange during the 2016-2017 bull run but lost customers in recent years
Crypto exchange Bittrex has shocked absolutely no one by announcing that it is to shutter global operations. In an email to customers the exchange, which was amputated when its US arm shut down earlier in the year following an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said that Bittrex Global has “decided to wind down its operations.” The exchange will continue to operate until 4 December when it will halt all trading operations, leaving users with the option to withdraw funds only. Bittrex was founded in 2014 by three cybersecurity engineers and was a popular exchange in the 2016-2017 bull run but had fallen out of favor in recent years.
Bittrex’s Troubled Year
Following eight years of operation, Bittrex’s slippery slope to closure started last year when the US Treasury accused the US wing of Bittrex of “apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs” among other offenses. This resulted in a total fine of over $53 million and the following March Bittrex announced that it was shuttering some of its services due to “continued regulatory uncertainty”.
Any uncertainty was made quite certain when, three weeks later, the SEC sued it for alleged sales of securities, something that Bittrex denied. Just a month later, however, Bittrex US filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and settled with the SEC for $24 million.
Fines Took Their Toll
All these outgoings seem to have taken their toll not just on the US operation but the entire Bittrex empire, with Bittrex now winding down in totality. In the email, Bittrex said that the decision “was not made lightly, and we understand the inconvenience it may have on our valued customers.” The company added that it is “committed to facilitating a smooth and transparent wind-down process during this period,” which will see trading turned off on 4 December, by which time users must have transferred their USD to EUR or crypto.
While no deadline has been set for customers to withdraw funds from Bittrex Global after the suspension of trading, the company “strongly recommend[s] that you withdraw funds as quickly as possible, as a withdrawal deadline may be set by the liquidators at some point in the future.”