Liechtenstein-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Global has revealed plans to cease operations.
In an update on 20 November, the platform urged users to convert U.S. dollar holdings to euros or cryptocurrency before the specified date to facilitate withdrawals.
Bittrex Global cited regulatory uncertainties, particularly the U.S. regulatory landscape, as a factor in the decision.
Ceasing Trading and Asset Withdrawals
Bittrex Global’s announcement outlines its decision to wind down operations, commencing with the suspension of trading activities on 4 December.
Bittrex Global posted on X (formerly known as Twitter):
The exchange urges users with U.S. dollar holdings to convert their funds to euros or cryptocurrency before the specified date to ensure smooth withdrawals.
After 4 December, the platform will limit activities to specific withdrawals.
Bittrex Global acknowledges the inconvenience to users and advises against making new deposits, as they cannot guarantee safe receipt, potentially resulting in permanent loss.
Bittrex Global CEO Oliver Linch attributes the decision to regulatory uncertainty:
“Everything factored in [the decision to wind down] but actually what we found much more than the actual SEC action and what came out of that is the U.S. regulatory position. Although we were never in the U.S. and never had U.S. customers, what happens in the U.S. affects the whole world. The regulatory uncertainty that permeates the U.S. market is having an impact on the rest of the world.”
Legal History and SEC Settlement
Bittrex Global’s decision follows its filing for Chapter 11 protection in May and subsequent settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in August, involving $24 million in penalties and interest.
The SEC had charged Bittrex Global in April in connection with its shared order book operation with Bittrex.
While the legal history adds complexity to the situation, it remains unclear if SEC actions directly contributed to the exchange’s decision to shut down its operations.