Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex has just announced that it is pulling out of the US retail market due to the challenging regulatory climate. US customers have 90 days to discontinue all trading, and US holders of ethereum ERC20 tokens have only 5 days to stop trading them on the exchange.
Leading bitcoin exchange by USD volume, Bitfinex, announced on Friday that it is exiting the U.S. Retail marketplace. Effective immediately, the exchange no longer accepts verification requests for U.S. Individuals. “We have for some time considered pulling away from the retail marketplace in the U.S.,” the exchange wrote, adding that:
Now with a current backlog of verification requests and ongoing difficulties in providing USD deposit and withdrawals for U.S. individuals, we feel that the time has come to begin disengaging from U.S. retail customers.
Bitfinex explained that “a surprisingly small percentage of our revenues come from verified U.S. individual accounts.” Meanwhile, “a dramatically outsized portion of our resources goes into servicing the needs of U.S. individuals, including support, legal and regulatory.” Citing that it has been able to “normalize banking for some corporate customers and individuals in certain jurisdictions,” Bitfinex admitted that “compliant banking solutions for U.S. individuals remain elusive.” Consequently, the exchange stated:
Over the next 90 days, we will be discontinuing services to our existing U.S. individual customers.
Bitfinex expects the U.S. Regulatory landscape to be even more challenging in the future. “Exchanges based in the U.S. are better positioned to properly service retail U.S. Customers,” it wrote.
In addition, the exchange also announced that U.S. customers will no longer be able to trade ERC20 tokens issued through initial coin offerings (ICOs) on the exchange. This part of the changes will commence at noon UTC on August 16.
“Pursuant to the recent report of investigation issued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,” the exchange wrote to its customers, “Bitfinex is taking the proactive step of barring U.S. customers from trading certain digital tokens that may be deemed securities in the eyes of the SEC.” Currently, tokens active on the exchange subject to this restriction are EOS and Santiment (SAN).