A U.S.-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex has announced that it would wind down its U.S. operations due to an unfriendly regulatory environment. The exchange noted that customers have until April 30 2023 to withdraw their funds.
In a statement released on Friday, Bittrex co-founder and CEO Richie Lai said that it was not “economically viable” to continue to run the exchange in the “current U.S. regulatory and economic environment.”
“Regulatory requirements are often unclear and enforced without appropriate discussion or input, resulting in an uneven competitive landscape,” he said.
Bittrex’s announcement comes as U.S. regulators launch perhaps the toughest crackdown on the crypto industry yet.
Investors King understands that in recent times, the U.S. Regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have hit a number of American crypto companies with fines.
Last week, the SEC issued a Wells Notice to the biggest crypto exchange in the U.S. Coinbase, claiming that the San-Francisco-based firm’s staking products allegedly constitute unregistered securities. This indicated a potential lawsuit against the exchange for “possible violations of securities laws”.
Similarly, on Monday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sued Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange, stating that the company allegedly violated trading and derivatives rules.
In 2022, Bittrex was also a victim of harsh regulation as the exchange agreed to pay $29 million to settle enforcement cases with U.S. authorities for “apparent violations” of sanctions against countries including Iran, Cuba and Syria.
On the heel of the news to wind down U.S. operations, Bittrex however reinstated its intention to continue to serve customers outside of America.
About Bittrex Exchange
Founded in 2013, Bittrex is a small Seattle-based company. It is the 71st largest digital asset exchange, with a 24-hour trading volume of just $11.7 million, according to CoinGecko.
Dallas Mavericks Owner and Billionaire Tech Investor, Mark Cuban, Falls Victim to Phishing Attack, Losing $870,000 in Crypto Assets
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a prominent billionaire technology investor, recently fell prey to a phishing attack, resulting in a loss of approximately $870,000 worth of tokens.
The incident occurred over the weekend after months of inactivity on Cuban’s crypto wallet.
Phishing attacks, a prevalent threat in the crypto industry, deceive users into revealing sensitive information, downloading malicious software, and exposing their private data.
These attacks exploit users’ trust, often causing them to overlook the authenticity of incoming requests on their crypto wallets or unwittingly download counterfeit applications designed solely to pilfer their assets.
Cuban’s crypto wallet was emptied of various assets, including U.S.-pegged stablecoins, staked ETH (stETH), SuperRare (RARE) tokens, and some Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domains, according to blockchain data.
The initial discovery of these suspicious transactions was made by the vigilant on-chain investigator @wazzcrypto.
Fortunately, Cuban was alerted to these transactions, and he managed to safeguard over $2.5 million worth of Polygon’s MATIC tokens.
He accomplished this by promptly logging into his wallet and transferring the tokens to a secure Coinbase exchange address.
Cuban revealed that the phishing attack was apparently initiated through a fraudulent MetaMask wallet application that he had unwittingly downloaded.
This incident marks the second high-profile phishing attack in as many weeks, following Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin’s experience in early September. Buterin’s X account was compromised in a phishing attack, although he did not appear to lose any of his own funds.
Nevertheless, unsuspecting users collectively suffered losses of up to $700,000 by sending tokens to a malicious link that falsely appeared to have Buterin’s endorsement.
As the crypto industry continues to thrive, it is crucial for users to exercise caution and remain vigilant to safeguard their digital assets from the ever-present threat of phishing attacks.
RxR Analysis Reveals: Ether’s True Worth 27% Higher than Market Price
RxR, a research-driven partnership between Republic Crypto and Re7 Capital, has revealed that Ether (ETH), the native token of the Ethereum blockchain, is currently trading at a 27% discount to its actual fair value.
This revelation comes as a result of RxR’s innovative approach to evaluating the worth of cryptocurrencies. Instead of relying solely on traditional metrics, RxR’s methodology incorporates a blended version of the Metcalfe law that takes into account both the active user base on the continuously expanding Ethereum scaling networks and the users on the Ethereum mainnet.
Ether, as a fundamental component of the Ethereum ecosystem, facilitates a wide range of activities, from simple transactions to participating in network security through staking, earning interest, and even storing non-fungible tokens. As such, the value of Ether has long been intertwined with Ethereum’s network usage.
Lewis Harland, an analyst at RxR, explained the significance of this approach, stating, “Ethereum’s network valuation exhibits a closer alignment with the updated Metcalfe law index when the active user base of Ethereum’s scaling networks is included in the model, in contrast to when it is omitted.”
Harland continued, “The updated model, which factors in these networks, places ETH’s valuation at $275 billion, indicating that the current market capitalization is trading at a substantial 27% discount.”
Ether’s market capitalization consistently tracks the blended Metcalfe law model more accurately than the traditional model, which fails to consider the growing activity on layer 2 networks or offchain solutions built atop the Ethereum mainnet.
In essence, this analysis challenges the perception that Ether might be overvalued, as suggested by the traditional Metcalfe law Model.
The emergence of Layer 2 technology has undoubtedly become one of the most dynamic and exciting developments in the crypto market. Key protocols, such as Coinbase’s BASE, Arbitrum, and Optimism, have found their unique niches within this landscape.
According to data from L2Beat, the total value locked in layer 2 protocols has surged more than threefold in just two years, reaching an impressive milestone of over $9 billion.
Ripple Labs Objects to SEC’s Request for Appeal in Landmark Cryptocurrency Case
Ripple Labs, a leading player in the cryptocurrency industry, has voiced its strong objection to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recent request to appeal a pivotal federal judge’s ruling.
This ruling determined that cryptocurrency should not be classified as a security when offered to the public.
On Friday, Ripple submitted a request to US District Judge Analisa Torres in New York, urging her to reject the SEC’s appeal request.
The company argued that the SEC is hastily pursuing an appeal on what it deems a fundamental legal issue applicable to all cases involving digital assets.
Ripple contends that the procedural and legal circumstances in other SEC enforcement actions differ significantly.
To proceed with its appeal, the SEC requires Judge Torres’s permission, as her initial ruling was not a final judgment.
Also, the regulator is seeking to temporarily suspend its lawsuit against Ripple, which accuses the company of selling unregistered securities, pending the outcome of the appeal.
Judge Torres’s previous decision was widely celebrated by the cryptocurrency industry, which has been resisting efforts to classify digital assets as securities subject to regulatory oversight.
In her ruling on July 13, Torres distinguished between the sale of Ripple’s XRP token to institutional investors, which she deemed to meet the criteria for an investment contract under federal securities law, and sales to the general public on cryptocurrency exchanges.
The SEC argued that immediate review of the matter was imperative as the ultimate outcome could have implications for other cryptocurrency-related cases, including similar lawsuits filed by the regulator against Coinbase Global Inc. and Binance Holdings Ltd.
It is worth noting that another Manhattan federal judge, Jed Rakoff, explicitly rejected Judge Torres’s approach in the SEC’s case against Terraform Labs and its founder, Do Kwon. Rakoff concluded that the Terra USD token might indeed be considered a security when sold to retail investors.
In its Friday filing, Ripple emphasized that several critical issues remain unresolved in the case, including whether the sales of XRP to institutional investors fall outside the SEC’s jurisdiction. If the SEC’s request for an exceptional appeal is granted, Ripple indicated its intention to challenge the judge’s determination that these sales constituted securities transactions.
This development comes shortly after a significant legal victory for the cryptocurrency industry in another case. An appeals court in Washington recently overturned the SEC’s decision to block Grayscale Investments LLC’s proposed spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund.
Ripple’s CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, and Chairman, Christian Larsen, who are also named as defendants in the case, have joined the chorus opposing the SEC’s request. They maintain that Judge Torres’s ruling aligns with the best interests of the public and that the case should proceed to trial without further delay.
The case, known as SEC v. Ripple Labs Inc., 20-cv-10832, is currently pending in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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