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Crypto Exchange Bitfront Shutters Into Latest Industry Casualty

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  • Crypto exchange Bitfront has shut down, citing “challenges in the rapidly evolving industry.”
  • Bitfront says its shutdown is not related to “certain exchanges that have been accused of misconduct.”
  • The news comes after months of turmoil in the crypto markets and a large number of bankruptcy filings.

Bitfront, the cryptocurrency exchange started by Tokyo-based social media giant LINE Corp., is shutting down, as bears mount amid massive volatility in the digital asset sector.

“Despite our efforts to overcome the challenges in this rapidly evolving industry, we have regrettably determined that we must shut down Bitfront in order to continue to grow the LINE blockchain ecosystem and LINK token economy,” according to an announcement.

Customers will have until March 31 to withdraw funds, the company said, but new subscriptions and credit card payments stopped immediately on Monday. Bitfront is shutting down its services just three years after launch, but says it will turn its attention to its other blockchain ventures. In 2021, the exchange halted its operations in South Korea due to regulatory concerns.

The news comes as crypto markets are enduring months of turmoil, beginning with widespread contagion from the crash of algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD and the now-defunct overleveraged hedge fund Three Arrows Capital earlier this year. Crypto markets reeled again this month, when FTX, the crypto empire founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, quickly imploded, causing widespread market-wide contagion. Major centralized lender BlockFi filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday after having “significant exposure” to FTX.

Bitfront, however, says that its shutdown is not related to “certain exchanges that have been accused of misconduct.”

Crypto has lost more than two-thirds of its market value since all-time highs reached in November 2021, according to Messari data on Tuesday, with bitcoin and ethereum tumbling more than 75% in that period.

LINE did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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