Crypto exchange Bitfront shuts down


FILE PHOTO: Representations of cryptocurrencies plunge into water in this illustration taken, May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) - Bitfront, a U.S. crypto exchange backed by Japanese social media firm Line Corp, said it has suspended new sign-ups and credit card payments and will cease operations in a few months despite efforts to overcome challenges in the rapidly evolving industry.

"However, despite our efforts ... we have regretfully determined that we need to shut down BITFRONT in order to continue growing the LINE blockchain ecosystem and LINK token economy," the California-based company said in a statement on its website on Sunday.

Bitfront said the move is unrelated to recent issues among certain crypto exchanges that have been accused of "misconduct".

FTX, which was among the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is now the subject of investigations by authorities for "criminal misconduct".

The company had filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, while cryptocurrency lender BlockFi filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, hurt by exposure to the collapse of FTX.

Bitfront said it has suspended new sign-ups and credit card payments as of Nov. 28, and will suspend withdrawals on March 31, 2023. The company clarified that interest for deposits made between Dec. 5 and Dec. 11 will be paid out on Dec. 13, 2022.

(Reporting by Rahat Sandhu and Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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