Hong Kong-based bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has announced they are making changes to the services they provide to U.S. individuals. These changes impact the verification process and trading of certain digital tokens for U.S. customers. Some changes are effective immediately, and others will be gradually implemented in the coming weeks.
Suspension of U.S. Individual Verification Requests
The company regrets to announce that, effective immediately, it will no longer be accepting verification requests for U.S. individuals.
Bitfinex has for some time considered pulling away from the retail marketplace in the U.S., and now with a current backlog of verification requests and ongoing difficulties in providing USD deposit and withdrawals for U.S. individuals, the exchange felt that the time had come to begin disengaging from U.S. retail customers.
Several factors have gone into this decision:
- While Bitfinex has been able to normalize banking for some corporate customers and individuals in certain jurisdictions, compliant banking solutions for U.S. individuals remain elusive. The company has been slowly and selectively inviting users in particular jurisdictions who meet set criteria to start using banking channels that have come online. This process is ongoing.
- A surprisingly small percentage of our revenues come from verified U.S. individual accounts while a dramatically outsized portion of our resources goes into servicing the needs of U.S. individuals, including support, legal and regulatory.
- The company anticipates the regulatory landscape to become even more challenging in the future.
- Bitfinex is not based in the United States. Exchanges based in the U.S. are better positioned to properly service retail U.S. customers.
The Bitfinex team pronounced:
“We are thankful to all of our loyal U.S. customers that have consistently traded with us but, unfortunately, we have an obligation to our whole customer base and to our shareholders to make rational resource allocation decisions.”
“Furthermore, over the next 90 days, we will be discontinuing services to our existing U.S. individual customers. We will be communicating further with affected users on timing and specifics. Our intention is to reduce disruption as much as possible for our U.S. customers.”
“We will continue to take advice and implement further changes as circumstances warrant. Once again, we regret any inconvenience this change in policy might create.”
Restrictions on U.S. Persons Trading Certain Digital Tokens
Bitfinex will be barring U.S. customers from trading ERC20 tokens issued through “ICOs.” That ban will go into effect at noon UTC on Wednesday, August 16, 2017. No trading of these tokens will be allowed for U.S. customers as of that date and time. Please note that nothing in this announcement should be taken as fact or opinion that any such ERC20 tokens are a security pursuant to U.S. law or require regulation under U.S. law.
The company further updated with the following clarification:
“Nothing in our announcement should be taken as fact or opinion that any particular digital token, including any of the digital tokens mentioned in the announcement as a security pursuant to U.S. law and we apologize if any statements we made were misleading or could be misconstrued.”