tZERO, a financial technology firm funded and majority-owned by Overstock, has announced that it will be shutting down all operations for its tZERO Crypto exchange platform by March 6th, 2022.
The firm made the announcement through Twitter, citing, among other reasons, a lack of liquidity and trading activity as factors that led to their decision. The amount of time remaining for operation was intended, according to the exchange, to allow for an orderly withdrawal of assets from its customer base. The firm, however, has not issued a formal clarification on whether the security tokens that were offered on its exchange would likewise be affected once it shuts down.
“We believe that many digital assets would be treated as securities and trade in a regulated ecosystem.” the firm said.
Another reason for the exchange’s shutdown is a shift in priorities. An official statement from the company has detailed that it will instead focusing on regulated securities products post-shutdown. This decision was likely reached due to the brewing regulatory climate in the U.S., with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) still scrambling to clarify the exact status of digital assets, which scopes out both cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens.
tZERO’s exchange platform, launched in 2019, was once well known in the crypto space for facilitating securities offerings, with a specific market for private companies transitioning to a public status. Tokenized shares of digital securities are sold to these private companies, either to gain exposure to crypto, or for said companies to establish a crypto portfolio on their own books. Overstock, an online retailer also based in the U.S., owns roughly 55% of tZERO shares.
The move to pull the plug on its exchange is not completely unexpected, as other large digital asset companies have made similar decisions given the regulatory climate, in particular within the jurisdiction of U.S. authorities.
At this point, there is no indication that tZERO’s other offerings and services will be affected by the closure of their exchange platform. The firm’s web-based platform, a digital securities trading venue and crowdfunding portal, appear to remain unchanged. tZERO also operates as an over-the-counter blockchain-based brokerage, while also providing insights and analytics for capital markets.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.