The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reached an agreement with cryptocurrency trading platform Bittrex and its co-founder William Shihara over allegations of operating an unregistered exchange.
In a statement released today, Bittrex Global expressed its satisfaction with how things turned out, characterizing it as a swift settlement that aligns with their proactive approach. The resolution comes after the company submitted a motion to dismiss the SEC’s action in June.
The settlement terms include a payment of $24 million, which the exchange was keen to underline will be paid by Bittrex US rather than its global entity. With this settlement, Bittrex Global neither admits nor denies the allegations.
Oliver Linch, Bittrex Global CEO, said: “We are delighted that a settlement on these terms has been quickly reached. While it is good news for Bittrex Global, now is not the time for a victory lap. Instead, with this matter behind us, we can concentrate on building our vision for the future of crypto, as a regulated, mature, and sophisticated part of the wider financial ecosystem. That vision requires proper regulatory regimes that are fit for purpose, which is why Bittrex Global is proud to be regulated in Liechtenstein and Bermuda, two of the leading and most respected jurisdictions for regulatory oversight of crypto in the world.”
Looking ahead, Bittrex CEO Oliver Linch said the exchange heavily invested in resources that ensure non-engagement with any American clients, reaffirming that it exclusively serves users outside the US.
Andrew Michaelson, Partner at King & Spalding LLP, added: “We are proud to have advised Bittrex Global on this matter. What makes this result so unusual and gratifying is that our client, Bittrex Global, will put this matter behind it without paying a penny in settlement. We are thrilled with this result on behalf of our client.”
The SEC’s lawsuit against Bittrex was initially filed in April, accusing the company’s U.S. and overseas entities of running an illegal securities exchange, broker-dealer, and clearinghouse. The overseas entity was alleged to have failed to register as a national securities exchange.
As part of the settlement, Bittrex and Shihara have accepted an order preventing them from violating U.S. securities laws. While the companies did not admit to the SEC’s allegations, the settlement aims to resolve the legal dispute between the parties.