SEC Settles with Crypto Exchange Bittrex for $24 Million

The Securities and Exchange Commission brought a case against Bittrex exchange and its former CEO William Shihara in April. The regulator charges the crypto enterprise for operating an unregistered exchange and also imposed additional charges against the Global wing of the Bittrex exchange.

However, the regulators have recently announced a settlement agreement for $24 million. SEC officials maintained that Bittrex and Bittrex Global management paid $14.4 million in disgorgement charges. Furthermore, the defense paid $4 million in prejudgment interest and an additional $5.6 million in civil penalties.

The matter is still pending in the court to get a conclusion. Bittrex exchanges continued to work with various crypto projects to ensure that they were not issuing any sort of investment contracts. These steps were to avoid getting caught up in federal securities violations.

Speaking on the matter, SEC director Gurbir Grewal has maintained that this settlement is proof of the fact that it is not possible to escape accountability by changing labels and descriptions.

Bittrex exchange’s former CEO Shibara has claimed that this settlement has returned a good result. He suggested that the country needs to acquire a balance between preserving technical innovation and protecting consumers. He worked at the exchange as CEO from 2014 to 2019.

SEC has charged Bittrex for operating as an unregistered crypto exchange platform, clearing house, and broker in April this year. In addition, the regulatory agency also charged Bittrex Global for using a single shared order book with Bittrex.

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However, the settlement is to be conditioned with enjoining Bittrex to comply with national exchange registration, national brokerage registration, and national clearinghouse registration guidelines under Section 5, 15(a), and 17A.

Likewise, Bittrex Global is also to be ordained in summary judgment to comply with Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1934.  Bittex was operating in the United States since 2014 and the firm announced closing its shutters in March citing regulatory uncertainty.

The firm declared filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May this year. FinCEN started investigating Bittrex in October 2022.

SEC Postpones Verdict on Ark 21Shares Bitcoin Spot ETF

SEC has extended the timeline for issuing a verdict on the spot Bitcoin ETF application for Ark 21Shares. At present, the regulatory agency is processing multiple spot ETF applications for Bitcoin including BlackRock and Fidelity.

The agency has commented that the proposal has completed the CME Bitcoin Futures requirements and outweighed the market manipulation and consumer protection concerns posed by SEC previously.

Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood told Bloomberg earlier this week that she was expecting a delay in the decision and maintained a positive stance toward the approval of the application.

On the other hand, Scott Farnin a legal consultant at a consumer advocacy group has expressed his concerns regarding the surveillance-sharing agreement. He deems that SEC should not approve the Bitcoin spot ETF applications citing risks such as wash trading and artificially inflated trading volume. He also expressed concerns about highly saturated market participation.

At the same time, he also aired his reservations regarding heavy reliance on a select group of individuals and corporations to take hold of the Bitcoin network. He says that the issuance of Bitcoin spot ETFs can transfer the control of the Bitcoin project to a concentrated arena claiming that rules like surveillance-sharing agreements do little to address the matter.

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