Bittrex, a notable cryptocurrency exchange, said that it plans to voluntarily halt U.S. operations in an email sent to users on March 31.
Bittrex will cease U.S. operations
The company said it will fully cease operations in the U.S. at 12 p.m. PDT on April 30. It also said that April 14 is the deadline for all U.S. trading.
Bittrex said that U.S. customers will have access to their accounts until the last full day of withdrawals on April 29 but also named specific withdrawal deadlines leading up to that date depending on the type of activity involved in the withdrawal process.
Specifically, Bittrex said that U.S.-based users must set up a bank account for fiat wire withdrawals by April 7, must request fiat wire withdrawals by April 24, and must request fiat ACH withdrawals by April 27. Users can otherwise withdraw cryptocurrency.
The company added that its U.S. referral and staking products will be terminated immediately. Though earnings will halt, past rewards will be paid out by April 5.
Bittrex faced regulatory challenges
Bittrex co-founder and CEO Richie Lai said that the service halt is due to “regulatory uncertainty and a lack of interest from U.S. regulators regarding sensible policies.”
Though the exchange did not name any specific regulatory issues, it was fined by OFAC and FinCEN in October 2022 and was barred from New York in 2019.
Bittrex explained that its departure from the U.S. will not affect customers worldwide. It said that it “remain[s] committed to growing Bittrex Global,” which is based in Bermuda and Liechtenstein and serves customers outside of the United States.
Apart from its regulatory challenges, the company also appears to be in a somewhat weak financial situation. Bittrex laid off about one-fifth of its staff in February, and it reported only a modest trading volume of $14 million over the past 24 hours.
Bittrex is mainly notable due to its age rather than its popularity. It launched in 2014, placing it among the earliest cryptocurrency exchanges.