William Shihara, the former CEO of Bittrex, and the cryptocurrency asset trading platform Bittrex have recently been charged by the SEC. The commission has charged the parties for running an unregistered broker, clearing agency, and national securities exchange.
A couple of weeks ago, Bittrex announced it was shutting down its services in the US. Despite being founded in the US in 2014, Bittrex informed users to stop operating in the States after April 30, 2023. Users were suggested to trade their assets before April 14 to keep them safe.
The exchange did not talk about the reason for leaving the market at that time. However, the latest announcement by the SEC has confirmed that Bittrex was forced to leave the territory.
The SEC released an official tweet and post to inform users about the development. The post states that Bittrex has been operating in the US as a trading platform for crypto assets. However, the SEC claims that the assets were being traded as securities. The exchange earned over 1.3 billion dollars in revenue between 2017 and 2022.
As soon as the allegations were put forward, many users started researching Bittrex. An extensive review of Bittrex was among the primary searches the users conducted. Their search revealed that the SEC is also charging Bittrex’s foreign affiliate, Bittrex Global GmbH, for not registering as a securities exchange alongside Bittrex.
According to the SEC’s complaint, the former CEO of Bittrex is accused of coordinating with cryptocurrency issuers. It has been noted that Bittrex previously offered assets on its platform. The exchange would then instruct issuer-applicants to delete all statements pertaining to anticipated profit, price forecasts, and investment-related terms.
Gary Gensler, the SEC Chair, also talked about the unfortunate development. According to Gensler, this development has also shown how the crypto industry suffers from a lack of regulatory compliance and clarity.
Bittrex had failed to comply with US securities law as a clearing agency, broker, and exchange. Thus, the SEC is holding the exchange accountable for non-compliance, added Gensler.