The tZERO Crypto exchange, whose majority owner is Overstock, will shut down on March 6, the company announced via Twitter on Feb. 3. The company says that it will continue to focus on its regulated securities products after the shutdown as the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other regulators clarify the legal status of crypto assets.
Today, tZERO Crypto informed its customers that it will be ceasing operations on March 6, following an orderly withdrawal of assets by the customers, which continue to be held by the custodian. 1/7
— tZERO (@tZERO) February 3, 2023
Headquartered in New York, tZERO is a financial technology company that facilitates securities offerings for private companies that want to go public. In the crypto community, tZERO is most well known for offering tokenized shares or “digital securities,” which can be traded on a blockchain.
Online retailer Overstock owns approximately 55% of tZERO, according to the company’s Aug. 26, 2022, press release.
In 2019, tZERO launched a traditional crypto exchange called “tZERO Crypto” that allowed users to buy, sell and hold Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and other cryptocurrencies. However, in the announcement on Feb. 3, the company confirmed it would wind down the exchange on March 6.
In the announcement, tZERO implied that unregulated crypto exchanges are on their way into obsolescence, stating: “We believe that many digital assets would be treated as securities and trade in a regulated ecosystem.” The announcement explained further:
“While the regulatory environment around crypto assets is clarified by the SEC and other regulators (including in view of recent events), we will continue to focus on our unique regulated securities business, which we believe will be the venue where most digital asset securities will trade.”
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The company said that the shutdown was set for March 6 to allow for an “orderly withdrawal of assets by the customers, which continue to be held by the custodian.” It did not clarify whether security tokens being traded on the tZERO ATS stock exchange will also be affected by the shutdown of tZERO Crypto. Cointelegraph reached out to tZERO ATS to clarify this point but could not get a response by the time of publication.