Bittrex Agrees To Pay $24 Million Fine Against Alleged SEC Securities Violation
- Struggling crypto exchange, Bittrex has agreed to pay a $24 million fine for allegedly violating the US SEC’s securities laws.
- Despite this, the company and its co-founder William Shihara have neither acknowledged nor denied the allegations.
- The SEC in April alleged that Bittrex operated as a stock exchange.
The lawsuit between Bittrex and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ended after the exchange agreed to a $24 million fine, without admitting or denying the allegations, according to an official SEC announcement.
Specifically, the penalty includes $14.4 million in restitution, $4 million in profits earned under the court ruling, and $5.6 million in civil penalties.
Even so, the companies and co-founder William Shihara have not admitted or denied the regulator’s allegations. Shihara, who did not pay the fine, called the settlement plan “a good outcome” and said he hoped it would help the US strike a balance between protecting investors and promoting innovation.
Bittrex is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the US, having had a 23% market share at the beginning of 2018. But with competition and the downturn of the crypto industry, the exchange is slowly losing its grip position.
In April, Bittrex announced its withdrawal from the United States. A month later, the exchange filed for bankruptcy for the US branch and at the same time, the SEC made accusations of Bittrex and the team of exchanges offering disguised securities.
The commission said that since 2017, Bittrex had raised at least $1.3 billion from offering securities without registering with the SEC, instead showing signs of evading regulation. Moreover, before listing tokens, this exchange also cooperates with projects, editing statements related to prices, terms of sale, and profits to avoid the eyes of the authorities.
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