Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex has agreed to pay $24 million to settle a case with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the regulator announced Thursday.

The SEC said that the American exchange agreed to pay, on a joint and several basis, disgorgement of $14.4 million, prejudgment interest of $4 million, and a civil penalty of $5.6 million.

The U.S. regulator hit Seattle-based Bittrex and its former CEO William Shihara with a lawsuit back in April, alleging that the Seattle-based exchange had failed to register as a broker-dealer, exchange, and clearing agency. The agency alleged that Bittrex raked in at least $1.3 billion in illicit revenue between 2017 and 2022.


"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," said Gurbir S. Grewal, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, in a statement.

As part of the settlement, Bittrex neither admitted nor denied the SEC's allegations.

Bittrex is one of the smaller crypto exchanges in the United States, but it has been in trouble with regulators and American authorities since last year.

In 2022, 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.


And in May, it filed for bankruptcy shortly after winding down its U.S. operations. The exchange said it was not "economically viable" to continue running the exchange in the "current U.S. regulatory and economic environment."

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