Bittrex files for bankruptcy protection less than a month after SEC charges

Quick Take

  • Crypto exchange Bittrex Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, less than a month after the SEC charged it with operating an unregistered exchange.
  • The company has an estimated $500 million to $1 billion in assets and liabilities, according to a court filing.

Bittrex Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware on Monday, less than a month after the Securities and Exchange Commissions charged it with running an unregistered exchange. 

The company said it had assets and liabilities each estimated to be worth between $500 million and $1 billion, and more than 100,000 creditors in a court filing. Two other entities, Bittrex Malta Ltd. and Bittrex Malta Holdings Ltd., also filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. 

The bankruptcy filing comes less than a month after Bittrex was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly operating an unregistered exchange, broker, and clearing agency. Bittrex had previously said it would leave the U.S., blaming the country’s regulatory environment. 

Bittrex was once one of the largest exchanges in the U.S., with a market share of USD support of nearly 23% at the start of 2018, data from The Block show. It collapsed to below 1% in 2021 and hasn't recovered since.

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The bankruptcy filing will not impact Bittrex Global, according to a Bittrex Inc. spokesperson.

“Having previously announced that Bittrex, Inc. would be ceasing all operations in the U.S. effective April 30th, we have now made the decision to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court in Delaware," the spokesperson said. "This announcement does not impact Bittrex Global, which will continue operations as normal for its customers outside the U.S. For those customers who did not withdraw their funds from the platform prior to the end of April, your funds remain safe and secure, and our main priority is to ensure that our customers are made whole.”

Updates with comment from company in fifth paragraph.


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Stephanie is a senior reporter