In one of its most recent investigations, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Bittrex and its previous CEO with breaking several federal laws.
According to the latest information from a press statement, the SEC has accused Bittrex Global GmbH and its former CEO, William Shiharawas, of running an unregistered national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency.
JUST IN: 🇺🇸 SEC charges Bittrex #crypto exchange for violating federal laws.
— Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) April 17, 2023
SEC Says Bittrex Failed to Register as a National Securities Exchange
In a press release, the SEC said that between 2017 and 2022, the exchange made at least $1.3 billion from things like “transaction fees from investors, including U.S. investors while servicing them as a broker, exchange, and clearing agency without registering any of these activities with the Commission.”
In the lawsuit, the SEC says that Bittrex and Shihara worked with issuers to avoid regulatory scrutiny before any assets were put on their platform.
SEC Chair Gary Gensler states,
“Today’s action, yet again, makes plain that the crypto markets suffer from a lack of regulatory compliance, not a lack of regulatory clarity.” ” As alleged in our complaint, Bittrex and issuers that it worked with knew the rules that applied to them but went to great lengths to evade them by directing issuer-applicants to ‘scrub‘ offering materials of information indicating that certain crypto assets were securities.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission also says that because the exchange served as a middleman, it should have been registered as an exchange, a broker, and a clearing agency.