On April 17, 2023, Bittrex, a Seattle-based exchange, was accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of violating securities law for not registering with the financial regulatory agency in various jurisdictions. These charges came at a time when the exchange was already planning to wind up its operations in the US in April.
During a recent phone interview with CoinDesk, Bittrex’s Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Linch, stated that the SEC was wrong in charging the exchange.
SEC failed to provide an opportunity for Bittrex to explain
Linch mentioned in the interview that the SEC did not provide an explanation for their allegations and that the exchange believes the SEC is mistaken in its legal and factual understanding of the matter.
Linch also added that Bittrex was not aware of the SEC investigation until receiving the preliminary conclusion notice. He clarified that Bittrex has never claimed to offer services in the US and will strongly defend its position that it does not have any customers in the country.
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The SEC’s charges against Bittrex are another instance of increased regulatory scrutiny in the cryptocurrency industry in the US. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been facing backlash from the cryptocurrency industry following a series of recent enforcement actions and notices of scrutiny that have led some firms to close some or all of their operations in the United States. The industry has criticized the SEC for enforcing regulations rather than providing clear regulatory guidance to companies.