CryptoBridge, a U.S.-based decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, has announced today that it will be ceasing all operations, citing several reasons that led to their decision.
The news was announced through an official notice on the exchange’s website, stating that the decision had been made as the exchange lacks the funds to further develop and maintain operations due to market conditions and increasing regulation.
The decentralized exchange accounted for around 320,000 visitors in October, with most coming in from Russia and Bulgaria, according to web analytics firm SimilarWeb. CryptoBridge shared that its vision was to provide a gateway to decentralized cryptocurrency trading and did everything in its power to save the ship from sinking but it seems it came up short.
According to the notice, all deposits will close tomorrow – December 3rd – and withdrawals will be processed after December 15th, adding that users have to withdraw their funds in the meantime. However, the exchange mandates that a KYC (know-your-customer) process is required by the EU laws for them to process withdrawals and it advices users to start the process as early as possible as verification can take up a few days.
CryptoBridge is known for its strict KYC requirement process to complete withdrawals. Notably, two months ago CryptoBridge forced KYC on its users, who were caught by surprise as the exchange had seemingly stolen their funds and forced a hostile KYC process.
At that time, the exchange claimed to have acted under the Fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive, citing that it wanted to ensure that its users were not held responsible for any illegal intentions or money laundering activities.
Subsequently, this made users frustrated with the exchange as it had enforced KYC checks without any warning and were forced to reveal their identity in order to retrieve their funds. Following this, many users questioned whether the exchange was at all decentralized seeing as it now required KYC.
CryptoBridge isn’t the only exchange that had recently shut down. Coinexchange.io, a cryptocurrency exchange that has been running since 2016 also recently shut down, citing similar reasons as CryptoBridge.
Although CryptoBridge has some unique trading pairs, in the last 24 hours the exchange saw a volume of less than $75,000. Presumably, the forced KYC requirement was the last straw which led to more users leaving the exchange and further tanking its volume.
Meanwhile, the exchange noted as well that it will closing down all its social media accounts. However, a Twitter account seeming to be impersonating CryptoBridge, tweeted: “We are only temporarily shutting down. We will be opening a new and improved exchange.”
The exchange was reached for comments regarding these speculations, however hasn’t responded yet.