The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement staff informed crypto exchange Bittrex back in March it would recommend to the agency legal action for alleged violations by the company of investor protection laws.

Bittrex’s announcement that it would be closing its U.S. operations at the end March was likely preceded by the SEC’s Wells Notice, partly because of the challenging regulatory environment. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company does not know if the SEC would take legal action because it is leaving the market.

David Maria, Bittrex’s general attorney, told the newspaper that if the SEC sues, Bittrex will litigate until the SEC makes a “reasonable settlement offer”.

SEC enforcement actions against several prominent crypto enterprises sent ripples throughout the industry. In February, Kraken announced that it would shut down its stake program and pay $30 million in SEC charges.

Bittrex has paid $30 million to the U.S. Treasury Department’s watchdogs on money laundering and sanctions. The company was accused of having a poor compliance programme between 2014 and 2017.

Bittrex and SEC did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

Bittrex to close U.S. operations next month

Stephen Alpher edited the book.