Bitfinez, the popular Bitcoin exchange, announced Tuesday it will be temporarily shutting down its Bitcoin exchange services in an effort to prevent fraud and other violations of the law.
The company said it will suspend trading for all customers for up to 180 days in a bid to curb the potential for more widespread fraud.
The move follows an investigation into fraudulent activity in the Bitcoin marketplace, which began in late March and ended earlier this month.
Bitcoin prices have surged in recent days after news broke of the investigation.
However, the company did not specify when it would shut down Bitcoin trading.
The Bitfines decision to suspend trading comes amid concerns about a rise in fraud on the cryptocurrency market and the possible impact it could have on the Bitcoin exchange’s business.
According to the company, approximately $500 million in Bitcoins were stolen from its exchange accounts in February.
Bitfine, which was founded in 2017, is one of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchanges.
Bitcoin has surged over the past year, reaching its highest price of $11,817 in early June.
On Monday, the price of one Bitcoin fell nearly 1 percent, to $1131.20.
On Tuesday, the value of one bitcoin was trading at $1136.25, a decline of $3.28 from Monday.
Bitcoin exchanges often face a lot of scrutiny from law enforcement and regulators alike.
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are increasingly looking to trace the money trail of bitcoin transactions.
In addition to the criminal investigation, Bitcoin exchanges are often accused of accepting fraudulent money.
According a report from CoinDesk, over the course of the past five years, the FBI seized over $8 billion in Bitcoin, and $7.4 billion in other digital currencies.