Harborly Becomes Latest Bitcoin Exchange to Shut Down

The founders behind bitcoin exchange Harborly are closing its doors to focus on a separate project, according to the company.

AccessTimeIconAug 20, 2015 at 9:31 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 11:50 a.m. UTC

Another bitcoin exchange is closing down in North America.

Texas-based Harborly said in a 14th August blog post that it was shutting its doors as a result of work on a separate project that co-founder and CEO Connor Black described as “a growth hacking tool and service” currently in private beta.

The past year has seen a number of exchanges call it quits in North America, including Vault of Satoshi, Cavirtex and Buttercoin.

According to the post, the closure is not related to security or fraud issues, and the exchange is up for sale.

Black told CoinDesk that the team – which will migrate in its entirety to the new project – opted to shutter the exchange rather than devote only part of its resources, explaining:

“We made the decision to close down Harborly around the time we started seeing results with a side project we had been working on internally. Given the nature of the project, we realized that 1) we have to move as fast as possible on it, and 2) we don't have enough resources to continue doing both. Ideally we would love to keep growing Harborly along with this new project, but a bitcoin service is not something you run at 50% capacity.”

When asked if digital currency regulation played into the decision, Black said that “I'll admit that we underestimated the regulatory and financial burden of running a bitcoin retail service.”

Black went on to say that the regulatory landscape for digital currencies is "shaping up", noting that any startup should overestimate how much time and money it will be required to devote to compliance.

“We were surprised again and again by the resources it took to effectively adhere to the compliance requirements laid out in the US and beyond,” he added.

Closed sign image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.