The U.S. arm of crypto exchange Bittrex is set to open for customer withdrawals Thursday following a ruling by a Delaware bankruptcy court, CoinDesk has been told.
The exchange filed for bankruptcy in May, and its legal bid to let customers once again access holdings faced opposition from the U.S government, which says it’s still owed millions for sanctions violations.
In his Tuesday ruling, Judge Brendan Shannon authorized Bittrex U.S. and its affiliates “to permit their customers holding undisputed, noncontingent, and liquidated claims to withdraw cryptocurrency assets and fiat currency from the Debtors’ trading platform to the extent of such claims.”
The judgment doesn’t determine who legally owns those assets, or whether customer claims are favored over the government’s, the ruling added, and there could be clawbacks in future.
Patty Tomasco, a partner at law firm Quinn Emmanuel who's representing Bittrex, told CoinDesk in an email that “the platform will be up and running for withdrawals on Thursday, June 15.”
The exchange experienced millions of dollars of withdrawals after saying in March it planned to close U.S. operations the following month. The unit filed for bankruptcy May 8. As of May 10 the company said it held $300 million in customer cash and crypto in the U.S. arm. While bankruptcy proceedings normally include a freeze on transactions, the company argued it wanted customers to be able to access their money without protracted litigation.
In common with other crypto exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase, Bittrex had faced charges from U.S regulators that it violated federal law by operating an unregistered securities exchange.