After the report revealed that cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex had received a Wells notice from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the securities regulator charged Bittrex and the company’s CEO on April 17 for “operating an unregistered exchange, broker and clearing agency”. ”
Following the Wells notice, the SEC accuses Bittrex of violating federal laws
On Monday, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged another cryptocurrency exchange, to accuse the Bittrex trading platform to operate “an unregistered national securities exchange, broker and clearing agency”. Since 2014, Bittrex has allegedly sold crypto assets that have been “offered and sold as securities”. The SEC complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
The SEC further alleged that Bittrex Global should have registered the exchange, and the regulator claims that the two entities took advantage of a “shared order book”. The complaint also notes that Bittrex should have registered as a clearing agency and broker. “(Bittrex) routinely engaged in transactions for the accounts of others in crypto assets that were offered and sold as securities,” the SEC complaint insists.
“Today, we hold Bittrex accountable for its non-compliance,” SEC Chairman Gary Gensler wrote in a statement Monday. “Today’s action, again, makes it clear that crypto markets are suffering from a lack of regulatory compliance, not a lack of regulatory clarity. “As alleged in our complaint, Bittrex and the issuers it worked with knew the rules that applied to them, but went to great lengths to circumvent them by ordering candidate issuers to ‘clean up’ offering information indicating that some crypto assets were securities. ”
The SEC Chairman added:
Further, Bittrex, as alleged, has failed to register and comply with US securities laws as an exchange, broker and clearing agency. The cosmetic changes did nothing to change the underlying economic realities of Bittrex’s offerings and conduct.
THE The SEC Complaint follows recent news that Bittrex received a Wells notice advising the cryptocurrency exchange of a possible enforcement action. Bittrex General Counsel David Maria told the Wall Street Journal that if the SEC decided to sue the company, the exchange would challenge the action in court unless the regulator “presents a reasonable settlement offer.” As of this writing, the SEC’s complaint offers no settlement, and the court filing says a “jury trial (is) required.” In addition to cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Global, the company’s CEO, William Hiroaki Shihara, is also named in the case.
What do you think of the SEC’s latest enforcement action against Bittrex, and do you think it will lead to increased regulatory scrutiny in the cryptocurrency industry? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. This is not a direct offer or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any product, service or company. bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.