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Lithuania-headquartered Bittrex Global, one of the industry's most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges, is set to cease operations following a $24 million fine imposed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The troubles for Bittrex began in April 2023 when it and its former CEO, William Shihara, were charged with operating an unregistered national securities exchange, brokerage, and clearing agency by the SEC. The exchange's US arm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2023. It settled the SEC case with a $24 million fine in August 2023.
Founded in 2014 by former Amazon and Microsoft security managers, Bittrex Global's estimated assets and liabilities range between $500 million and $1 billion. The closure underscores the regulatory hurdles faced by cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States, impacting the crypto industry.
According to an announcement on its website, trading on Bittrex Global will be suspended as of Monday 4 December at 18:00 UTC. After that date, customers will only be able to withdraw assets as part of the winding down process.