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SEC Investigates Bittrex for Alleged Investor Protection Law Breaches, Leading to the Exchange Exiting the US Market


The SEC investigates Bittrex, a US-based digital asset exchange for allegedly breaching investor protection laws, which has resulted in the exchange ceasing its operations in the US. This regulatory action has raised concerns among the crypto community, which has been dealing with regulatory issues for some time. The SEC’s recent scrutiny of Bittrex and other exchanges such as Coinbase and Kraken suggests a shift in regulators’ focus on crypto exchanges, following their previous focus on digital currency issuers.

The SEC’s investigation into Bittrex began in 2017 when the agency issued several subpoenas to the exchange to gain insight into its revenue streams and asset selection criteria. The SEC claimed that Bittrex did not register as an exchange, broker-dealer, or clearinghouse, leading to the exchange moving its operations offshore. The Wall Street Journal has also reported on Bittrex’s decision to permanently leave the US market due to regulatory pressure.

In accordance with US law, companies offering securities to investors must register with the SEC and follow regulations designed to protect investor funds and disclose fees and risks. The Wells notice sent to Bittrex by SEC attorneys accuses the exchange of operating without registering with the agency as an exchange, broker-dealer, or clearinghouse in violation of these laws.


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