Exchanges are one of the most important pillars of support within the crypto industry as they are the means by which most people are able to acquire, sell and trade crypto and as the industry grows, so are exchanges becoming more popular in themselves. Exchanges can also be used as a tool to get around sanctions as Venezuela is currently depending on decentralized exchanges to get around sanctions that have been placed on them by the US due to certain policies that they do not agree with. However, it should be noted that not all crypto exchanges work out and the market is ever-evolving.
It was reported on October 19, 2019, that Bittrex International, the international arm of the US-based exchange Bittrex has sent out word to customers in over 30 countries they will be closing down operations on October 29, 2019.
According to reports, Bittrex sent an email to all their Venezuelan customers telling them to withdraw their funds from the exchange by October 29, 2019, and stated that they will halt all operations on the date but did not give any concrete reason as to why.
Interestingly enough, this new development does not affect only Venezuela as the company will be holding operations and a total of 31 countries including Afghanistan, Egypt, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Yemen.
This news is particularly interesting in the context of Venezuela as the company has seen great use within Venezuela as have many other cryptocurrency exchanges have seen record trading volume in the last few weeks and this is because crypto exchanges act as a means of financing for the country due to the sanctions been placed against them and have acted as a source of financial relief for citizens. Thankfully, there are several other crypto exchanges that will continue to operate within Venezuela even though Bittrex International still has not given official word for its mass closure.