Bittrex New York closure delayed, but still definitely happening

Just when they had a moment of hope, New York customers of Bittrex have had it dashed away. After a report that the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) would review the process that assigns coveted BitLicenses, the regulator reminded the exchange that it still had to shut down.

Bittrex tweeted and posted a follow up blog post of the reminder, notifying New York customers that the NYDFS had ordered them to extend the account closure deadline and allow customers to continue withdrawing their funds.

Other than what’s said in the tweet, there isn’t anything else new to the post. It lists out the NYDFS decision not to extend a BitLicense to Bittrex, and the requirement that they cease all operations in New York as result, while offering a grace period to pull out their funds.

This comes on the heels of news that the NYDFS, while still having confidence in the BitLicense process, would begin looking into if any changes were necessary. Bittrex customers, hopeful that the news might mean they could keep using the exchange, held out hope that operations might be allowed to resume. This latest blog post is a reminder that no, they won’t, and that’s left customers a bit sad.

Bittrex has had a difficult relationship with the NYDFS, to say the least. They were denied a BitLicense in April over accusations that it had allowed North Korean customers to sign up; an accusation they felt was unfair, as those cases had been investigated and dealt with. That rebuttal forced the NYDFS hand, causing them to provide a laundry list of deficiencies they found with the service.

It’s not like that was groundbreaking news. In December 2018, Bittrex was accused of mishandling a customer’s Bitcoin SV (BSV). Going as far back as December 2017, they were also in the news for being flooded by bad actors when their know your customer (KYC) protocols couldn’t keep up with demand. They later publicly banned accounts from North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba and the Crimea.

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