Bittrex tackles European markets amid regulatory issues and falling market share

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Bittrex struggled over the last two years amid problems with regulatory compliance and declining market share. As a promotion, the exchange is lowering trading fees and adding Euro markets to expand its reach beyond the U.S. This is the first of such promotions.

Regulatory woes

Bittrex’s market share fell from 30 percent in August 2017 to 2.4 percent in May 2019. The exchange has had difficulty complying with U.S. regulations and been forced to reduce its services for U.S. customers.

Bittrex recently announced it would be closing 32 of its markets to U.S. customers. On June 21, the markets will transition to Bittrex International, the exchange’s platform for non-U.S. customers.

The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) ordered Bittrex to cease operations in the state of New York last month after denying its application for a BitLicense. Regulators cited the exchange’s failure to address capital requirements and concerns with its procedures for KYC and AML compliance.

To Bittrex’s credit, U.S. companies working with blockchain and cryptocurrency have struggled as regulators have failed to provide clarity regarding the application of existing securities and accounting laws. The IRS finally offered guidance on the tax treatment of virtual currencies at the end of April, just weeks after the annual deadline for filing tax returns.

Declining volume

The U.S. cryptocurrency market has been losing ground to Asia over the past two years. According to James Todaro, managing partner at Blocktown Capital, trading volume in the U.S. has lost a third of its ground relative to volume in other countries.

The lack of regulatory guidance has made it difficult for companies to gauge how existing laws may be applied and encourages new businesses to locate their operations elsewhere. Stifling innovation has given other countries a competitive advantage, as reflected in the decline of U.S. supremacy in cryptocurrency trading volume.

Promotional distraction?

The promotion offers 0 percent maker and 0.15 percent taker fees on USD markets to traders with at least $30,000 in monthly trading volume since joining Bittrex. Traders expecting to accrue $30,000 in volume can contact Bittrex to request inclusion in the program.

This promotion lasts until July 4 at 00:00 UTC. At that time, Bittrex will introduce a volume-based fee schedule for USD markets.

Source: Bittrex

Bittrex is listed at number 22 on CryptoCompare’s new benchmark for digital exchanges at the time of writing.

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