The stock market watchdog SEC is stepping up its actions against crypto platforms and today accused Bittrex of offering regulated products in the United States without first registering with its services.
In its statement, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accuses the crypto asset trading platform Bittrex, and its co-founder and former CEO William Shihara of operating an unregistered national securities exchange, broker and clearing agency.
In this case, regulators say they are also suing Bittrex’s foreign subsidiary, Bittrex Global GmbH, for failing to register as a securities exchange in connection with its operation of a single order book shared with U.S. parent company Bittrex.
In its complaint, the SEC cites OMG, DASH, Algorand (ALGO), Monolith (TKN), Naga (NGC) and IHT Real Estate Protocol (IHT), among others, as financial securities, not just cryptocurrencies.
Today’s action, once again, makes clear that crypto markets suffer from a lack of regulatory compliance, not a lack of regulatory clarity,” SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said in a statement.
The complaint further alleges that Bittrex should have registered as a clearing agency because it acted as an intermediary to make payments and shipments when matching buy and sell orders and retained custody of customer assets.
Bittrex is thus the latest prey of the US regulator, which is taking turns attacking companies in the crypto sector.