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Bitcoin stock exchange BitFunder announces closure

(@kadhimshubber) | Published on November 12, 2013 at 12:30 BST

Yet another bitcoin stock exchange is about to bite the dust.

BitFunder has announced it is closing down.

The site, which launched in December 2012 and held around $16m in assets in July, will cease trading on 14th November and transfer out any leftover bitcoins held by users on 2nd December.

BitFunder owner Ukyo, aka Jon Montroll, made the announcement in a post on the BitFunder website and on the Bitcoin Talk forum, saying:

“As of November 14, 2013, no BitFunder user will be able to enter into any new positions or sell positions on the BitFunder website.

“…As of the date of this notice, BitFunder is not assessing any new fees against any BitFunder user.”

The closure is another gravestone in a graveyard of dead bitcoin stock exchanges.

BitFunder itself came hot on the heels of shutdown of Global Bitcoin Stock Exchange in October 2012. Another bitcoin exchange, btct.co, also shutdown this year.

Ventures like ASICminer and IceDrill, both bitcoin miners, sold shares on BitFunder but less than a year after launching, things had already begun to go sour. On 8th October 2013, it banned people in the US from using the site.

“All current BitFunder users who are located in the United States or are determined to be United States persons or entities will not be able to enter into any new positions on the BitFunder website, and, as of November 1, 2013, such users will also not be allowed to sell positions on the BitFunder website.”

A later post on 11th October advised all US users of BitFunder to move their money out by 1st December. As one might expect, US users took the hint, causing a stock crash on BitFunder.

The decision to ban US users appeared to be in response to moves by the US Securities and Exchange Commisssion (SEC), which regulates stock exchanges, to clamp down on bitcoin.

By preventing US users from trading on the site, the site might have a stronger defence against the long arm of the US law.

It’s unclear if those pressures are connected to the decision to shutter the site entirely.

“I will be making a detailed post explaining more later on. I know this will be hard for some of you, but please try to hold off on the conspiracy theories until then,” wrote Ukyo in his announcement about the closure of the site.

In a short follow-up post, he admitted that the decision to shut down had been a recent one.

“The intention was to operate the site with verified users only. The decision to shut down completely is very recent.”

We have reached out to him for more information and will update this article accordingly if and when we hear back.

Ukyo is also the owner of WeExchange, a site connected with BitFunder that allows users to trade bitcoin into US, Canadian and Australian dollars.

WeExchange has also been experiencing its fair share of trouble recently. Users have been complaining of delays and problems in withdrawing funds from their accounts and in responses on bitcointalk.org, Ukyo blamed the problems on the underlying bitcoin software infrastructure, bitcoind:

“I really did not think bitcoind would buckle under such a reasonable increase in usage.”

Ukyo hinted that “WeExchange has big news coming very soon”, but with the current turmoil it remains to be seen whether anyone will have stuck around by the time it’s announced.

Feature image: alandberning/Flickr/CC

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