The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a complaint against Bittrex, a Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange, and its co-founder and former CEO, William Shihara, for allegedly operating an unregistered national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency. The SEC has charged Bittrex Global with Exchange Act violations in connection with its operation of a single shared order book. The complaint also claims that several tokens traded on Bittrex, including OMG, Dash, Algorand, Monolith (TKN), Naga (NGC), and IHT Real Estate Protocol (IHT), are securities.
The agency seeks disgorgement, penalties, and permanent injunctions against the defendants in a jury trial. Bittrex had previously announced its intention to stop offering services in the United States due to regulatory challenges. The exchange claims that it had requested guidance from the SEC regarding which digital assets on its platform were viewed as securities, but the agency refused to provide such information.