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Bittrex Quits US, Cites Unfavorable Regulatory Environment

2 mins In Brief

  • Crypto exchange Bittrex said it was leaving the United States because of the regulatory environment.
  • The crypto company had had previous skirmishes with financial regulator in the country.
  • Crypto stakeholders have warned that the US regulatory landscape would force many firms out of the country.
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 Bittrex Quits US, Cites Unfavorable Regulatory Environment

Crypto exchange Bittrex is leaving the United States, citing regulatory issues which have created an uneven competitive landscape. 

The CEO and co-founder, Richie Lai, announced this move on March 31, blaming the exchange’s decision on “the current US regulatory and economic environment.”

According to Lai, the exchange’s users’ funds remain safe and would be available for immediate withdrawal. The team plans to focus on expanding Bittrex Global outside the US.

Bittrex’s Regulatory Struggle

Bittrex has had its fair share of problems with regulators. In October 2022, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and Financial Crime Enforcement Network fined the exchange $53 million for failure to prevent customers from sanctioned countries such as Cuba and Iran from using its platform.

Before that, New York regulators told the exchange to cease operations in the state due to concerns about noncompliance and money laundering.

Bittrex is one of the oldest exchanges in the crypto space. Launched in February 2014, the exchange has proven to be among the best in the market. Lai said the exchange had “never lost funds or been hacked. It was technology, simple and elegant. We said we would be the most secure and fairest trading platform out there while treating our customers fairly.”

According to BeInCrypto data, the exchange had a spot trading volume of $28.57 million in the last 24 hours.

 Bittrex Quits US, Cites Unfavorable Regulatory Environment

Bittrex’s volume (Source: BeInCrypto)

Crypto Companies are Leaving the US

Meanwhile, Bittrex is the latest crypto company to leave the US in the last few months. In December, crypto lender Nexo said it was shutting down its US operations because of regulatory issues.

Another crypto exchange, Beaxy, shut down last week after facing charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several crypto stakeholders have warned that more companies could leave the country due to the regulatory conditions. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse highlighted this in one of his tweets.

Reports emerged that the largest crypto exchange by trading volume in the U.S. Coinbase planned to create a different marketplace for customers outside the country due to the increasing regulatory onslaught.

Financial regulators have increased their scrutiny of crypto firms in the U.S., prompting speculations that the authorities might be trying to kill crypto.