The biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, Gemini, has shut down its trading operations in the US, leaving customers stranded and investors scrambling for a replacement.
Gemini has shut its US trading operations for good.
The exchange’s trading team has been forced to relocate to a different facility in the Pacific Northwest.
In a statement, Gemini said: “Gemin has been informed by our regulatory counsel that we have reached an agreement to temporarily suspend trading on Gemini, and that we are in the process of closing our trading desk and moving to a new facility.
This decision will be made at the end of the year.
Gemini will continue to operate as usual in the United States, but we will not be providing trading services to our customers.”
It is understood that the US authorities have been considering an arrest warrant against Gemini’s founder and CEO, Charlie Shrem, who was arrested on tax fraud charges in April and is awaiting extradition to the US.
Gemini was a major trading hub in China, where the Chinese government has seized vast swathes of the country’s assets to stave off capital flight.
Mr Shrem was charged in the same court case with conspiring to commit bank fraud, but he was released on bail last month and his lawyers say they will appeal.
Gibson said on its website: “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and thank our customers for their patience and support throughout this process.”
It’s not the first time Gemini has been shut down.
In April, it was forced to shut down operations in Switzerland, the UK and Ireland, and the company is not yet in a position to resume operations in those countries.
Mr Schrems co-founder, Erik Voorhees, told The Australian Financial Review in November that he was “shocked and upset” at the way the company was being run, but that it was “the only company on the planet that allows its customers to trade digital currencies”.
“There’s no one that allows you to trade in bitcoin in Switzerland,” he said.
“They say, ‘No, you can’t trade in bitcoins.
We’ll close the accounts in your name.
We don’t want you to leave the country.'”
Bitcoin’s value is expected to continue to rise after the government announced it would clamp down on virtual currencies.