Image: ShutterstockBitfront, a US-based crypto exchange backed by the Japanese social media company LINE Corp, is shutting down. LINE will now shift its focus away from the exchange and toward its own blockchain and token. In an official announcement, it said,"Despite our efforts to overcome the challenges in this rapidly evolving industry, we have regretfully determined that we need to shut down Bitfront in order to continue growing the LINE blockchain ecosystem and LINK token economy."Bitfront stated that the move has nothing to do with recent issues involving certain crypto exchanges that have been accused of 'misconduct.' In February 2020, the exchange was launched to allow users to securely store and freely trade their digital assets. Its demise has come less than three years after its inception. As of November 28, Bitfront has suspended new sign-ups and credit card payments. Bitfront was previously operated by LVC USA Inc. It is a subsidiary of LINE Corporation, one of East Asia's largest social media platforms.Bitfront emphasises the sequence of events preceding its permanent closure in the website notice. Withdrawals are permitted until March 31, 2023, at 5:00 a.m. It strongly advises users to withdraw all assets by this date. Interest on deposits made between December 5 and December 11 will be paid out on December 13, 2022, according to the company. Bitfront stopped operations in South Korea in 2021 due to regulatory concerns.However, the announcement revealed that after March 31, American customers can claim their assets in each of their respective states. Global customers can also claim their assets in Delaware. It said, "All personal information collected from BITFRONT customers will be deleted within 40 days of March 31, 2023, when the ability to make withdrawals will end…however, information necessary for compliance with legal requirements / fulfillment of reporting obligations / responding to disputes may be retained even after service termination."Bitfront is one of several crypto companies that have had to halt operations due to the year-long crypto bear market. Authorities are investigating FTX, which was once one of the world's largest crypto exchanges, for 'criminal misconduct.' The company declared bankruptcy earlier this month. Crypto lender BlockFi declared bankruptcy on Monday, citing exposure to FTX's demise.Shashank is founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist.