Bittrex, a cryptocurrency exchange, has reached an agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This agreement involves a significant settlement of $24 million. The settlement marks the end of allegations related to providing unregistered securities to investors in the United States.

This announcement was made on Thursday and occurred just two months after Bittrex declared insolvency. It coincides with the growing trend of increased regulatory oversight focused on entities in the cryptocurrency exchange sector.

In May, Bittrex filed for bankruptcy protection. However, before that, the SEC took legal action against Bittrex. The SEC accused Bittrex of acting as a securities exchange, broker, and clearinghouse all at once, without having the necessary registrations.

Similar to Binance and Coinbase, Bittrex is facing allegations of not meeting regulatory requirements. This situation highlights the increasing regulatory scrutiny on the cryptocurrency industry.

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The settlement agreement doesn’t clearly say if the allegations against Bittrex are true or false. According to the agreement, after Bittrex starts its liquidation plan, it has 90 days to pay the SEC what it owes. If there are delays in making this payment, the SEC might take the issue to court.

The pronouncement by SEC’s Enforcement Director, Gurbir Grewal, as presented in an official statement, reads as follows:

“Today’s settlement makes clear that you cannot escape liability by simply changing labels or altering descriptions, because what matters is the economic realities of those offerings [as such].”

The legal case against Bittrex originates from its alleged actions as an unregistered broker, exchange, and clearing agency. These actions involve providing services to U.S. investors involved in cryptocurrency assets. Some of the charges are related to the claim that Bittrex worked closely with token issuers to change online statements. This allowed them to avoid the oversight of federal securities laws.

If the settlement is approved by the court, it will involve a financial arrangement. This arrangement includes paying back $14.4 million, plus an additional $4 million for pre-judgment interest, and a civil penalty of $5.6 million. Altogether, this adds up to a total payment of $24 million.

Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, commented in his discourse:

“[For years], Bittrex worked with token issuers to ‘scrub’ their online statements of any indicia that they were investment contracts—all in an effort to evade the federal securities laws. They failed.”

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This settlement highlights the wide range of regulatory rules and shows that the SEC is strongly against not following them in the cryptocurrency industry. It reminds other cryptocurrency exchanges that they must strictly follow the existing rules. This is important in a market that is highly interesting to both investors and regulatory authorities.

The agreement between Bittrex and the SEC focuses on claims of operating without proper registration as a broker, exchange, and clearing agency. This highlights the need for specific compliance rules in the cryptocurrency field.

The complex mix of legal agreements and financial aspects in this settlement shows the complicated regulatory issues. All of this comes together in the ongoing effort to understand and regulate the cryptocurrency industry.

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