Bittrex shutters its U.S. crypto platform and files for bankruptcy after the SEC accused it of flouting securities rules for years

Bittrex has filed for bankruptcy in the U.S.
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Bittrex Inc. and several affiliates went bankrupt on Monday after its US operations were shut down at the end of April in response to a regulatory crackdown.

The bankruptcy, which the company said doesn’t impact its non-US operations, comes less than a month after the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused the crypto platform of having flouted securities rules for years. 

Bittrex Global will continue operating as normal for customers outside the US, the company said in a statement. For users who didn’t withdraw their assets before the shutdown, Bittrex intends “to ask the court to activate those accounts as soon as possible so that customers meeting the necessary regulatory requirements will be able to withdraw them.”

Bittrex listed assets and liabilities of as much as $1 billion each in its Chapter 11 petition. Related entities Desolation Holdings LLC, Bittrex Malta Holdings Ltd. and Bittrex Malta Ltd. also entered bankruptcy, court papers show. 

The SEC sued Bittrex in federal court last month, alleging it broke the regulator’s rules from 2017 through 2022 while bringing in at least $1.3 billion in revenue. The SEC said Bittrex at times acted as a brokerage, exchange, and clearing agency, but didn’t register with the SEC. 

Bittrex disputed the allegations in a statement at the time. 

That was just the latest regulatory hurdle for Bittrex. The company listed the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control as its biggest unsecured creditor, to which it owes $24 million from an earlier settlement for failing to prevent customers in Iran, Cuba and other sanctioned nations from using its platform.

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