- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sued Bittrex and its former CEO over the sale of unregistered securities by the exchange.
- The SEC complaint alleges that the platform offered securities in tokens such as DASH, OMG and ALGO.
- Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies fell Monday after the news, with BTC price falling below $30,000.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sued Bittrex, one of the world’s largest and oldest cryptocurrency exchanges.
In a complaint released Monday, the SEC said it also sued Bittrex co-founder and former CEO William Shihara, highlighting various tokens it claims to be securities, including Dash.
SEC is Complaint in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington.
The cryptocurrency market plunged Monday morning following the Bittrex news, with the price of Bitcoin dropping below $30,000. At the time of writing, Ethereum’s price was just above $2,080, and the cryptocurrency’s market cap fell 2.9% to $1.3 trillion.
SEC charges Bittrex for operating unregistered exchange
In its complaint, the SEC alleges that Bittrex has been operating illegally since 2014, offering securities to users but not properly registering them. Specifically, US regulators consider Bittrex to be an unregistered stock exchange, broker, and clearing house.
The complaint is also against Bittrex Global GmbH, a foreign subsidiary of Bittrex. Entity failed to register exchange operation to share order book.
“Bittrex and Bittrex Global were required to register as exchanges because they used a shared order book to place multiple buyers and sellers orders for securities in an established manner where such orders would interact. It is because the buyer and the seller have entered into the transaction using a non-discretionary method, and that such orders have agreed to the terms of the transaction,” the regulator said. press release.
Assets named as securities in the complaint include Dash (DASH), OMG Network (OMG), Algorand (ALGO) and Token Card (TKN). The regulator also highlighted MANA as one of the “securities” traded on the exchange.
News of the SEC lawsuit against Bittrex comes days after the SEC issued a Wells Notice to Coinbase, part of a growing list of lawsuits against cryptocurrency companies.
Other platforms that have filed indictments or settled with regulators in 2023 include Kraken, Gemini and CoinEx.