Bitfinex, the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange by volume said it is looking at quitting the US market as early as the 9th of November, 2017.
Bitfinex said in a statement that:
This message is further to our announcement of August 11, 2017, with respect to terminating our business with U.S. individual customers. As indicated in the announcement, we are terminating trading, deposits, and withdrawal functionality for U.S. individual customers by no later than November 9, 2017. U.S. customers are already barred from receiving financing from other users on Bitfinex’s peer-to-peer financing platform. This restriction will remain and, in addition, U.S. individual customers will no longer be able to provide financing on Bitfinex effective November 9, 2017.
All U.S. individual users must make arrangements to withdraw their Digital Tokens by November 9th.
Bitfinex said any RRTs remaining in the hands of U.S. individual verified customers after the November 9th deadline may be sold through Bitfinex on an OTC basis through special arrangement with us.
The exit of Bitfinex from the US was first announced on last week when the exchange said it will no longer be accepting verification requests for U.S. individuals.
Bitfinex said in the statement that
I 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, we feel that the time has come to begin disengaging from U.S. retail customers.
Several factors have gone into this decision:
While we have been able to normalize banking for some corporate customers and individuals in certain jurisdictions, compliant banking solutions for U.S. individuals remain elusive. We have 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.
We anticipate 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.
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.
Restrictions on U.S. Persons Trading Certain Digital Tokens
Bitfinex will said it 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 development will mark a major shift in the cryptocurrency market as Bitfinex has remained the largest exchange processing digital currency transactions in USD.