Bitfront, a crypto exchange backed by Japanese social media app Line, is shutting down after failing to overcome turmoil in the industry.
The announcement by the US-based exchange comes at a time when the market for digital assets is grappling with financial contagion unleashed by the spectacular collapse of another crypto exchange, FTX.
Trading on Bitfront will be suspended by the end of the year and withdrawals on March 31, 2023, it said in a statement on its website Monday.
The company said it had been unable “to overcome the challenges in this rapidly-evolving industry,” while distancing its decision from the implosion of FTX.
“Please note that this decision… is unrelated to recent issues related to certain exchanges that have been accused of misconduct,” it added.
Line opened Bitfront in 2020. It will now focus on its native blockchain ecosystem and token. Its decision to shut down the exchange came on the same day crypto lender BlockFi filed for bankruptcy.
BlockFi, founded in 2017 by Zac Prince and Flori Marquez, made loans to customers using crypto assets as collateral.
Unlike Bitfront, BlockFi’s problems were directly linked to FTX. The lender had announced earlier this month that it had halted withdrawals, citing “significant exposure” to FTX, as well as its sister hedge fund Alameda. FTX, Alameda and dozens of affiliates filed for bankruptcy on November 11.
Shortly after filing for Chapter 11, BlockFi filed a lawsuit against FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s Emergent Fidelity Technologies, demanding he turn over collateral that BlockFi claims it is owed.
Prices of digital currencies have plummeted. Bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, has fallen about 65% so far this year. It was trading at about $16,490 on Tuesday, according to CoinDesk.
— Allison Morrow contributed to this report.