Bittrex International, the U.S. Crypto Exchange, is halting operations in 31 countries globally. 17 of those countries are in Africa.
According to Bittrex, the closure coincides with the launch of a new exchange partner – Bittrex Global – a new European exchange utilizing the trusted Bittrex technology platform.
Among the African countries where Bittrex International has ceased operations include:
- Central African Republic
- Cote d’Ivoire
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- South Sudan
In a statement, Bittrex Global said:
“Bittrex Global is welcoming all eligible Bittrex International customers to join the platform. Once Bittrex Global launches, eligible Bittrex International customers, including corporate accounts, will be seamlessly redirected to Bittrex Global. Once there, you will simply use your current Bittrex International username and password to access the new site. All eligible Bittrex International customers must accept the Bittrex Global Terms of Service in order to become a customer of Bittrex Global.”
There are already reports of Bittrex International customers in Ghana having received emails warning them of account closures and trading access by October 29, 2019. Users have been advised to withdraw their funds with the exchange before the date.
Bittrex International has cited limited regulatory uncertainty as the reason behind the closures.
This comes as no surprise to many crypto and token holders in these countries. Recently, a number of African countries have expressed bias, a lack of recognition, and in some cases, direct ban, on crypto services and products including Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Burundi, and Kenya.
According to the latest study, only South Africa and Nigeria are making great strides in recognizing and offering an enabling environment where this technology can thrive.