Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume, is closing its doors to US customers. The move comes as the company prepares to launch a US-based exchange later this year.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Binance said it will “block IP addresses accessing Binance.com from the United States” starting on September 12. The exchange will also “stop serving U.S.
customers through binance.com,” though it will still serve American users through its US-based exchange, Binance US.
The decision to block US customers is in line with Binance’s strict policies regarding compliance with lAWS and regulations. The company has long been one of the most vocal opponents of know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, which require exchanges to collect identifying information from their users.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has said that such regulations are “not really compatible” with the company’s philosophy of providing “freedom of money.” The exchange has also been accused of being lax on KYC/AML in the past, though it has denied these allegations.
The US is not the only country where Binance has faced regulatory hurdles. The company was forced to shut down its operations in China in 2017 after the Chinese government cracked down on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Binance then relocated its headquarters to Malta, where it has since been working to obtain a banking license.
Binance’s decision to block US customers comes as the company is preparing to launch a US-based exchange later this year. The exchange, which is currently in beta testing, will be compliant with all applicable lAWS and regulations, including KYC/AML requirements.
The launch of the US-based exchange is part of Binance’s larger strategy to expand its global footprint and become the “Amazon of crypto.” The company has already launched exchanges in Singapore, Uganda, and Jersey, and is planning to launch more in the coming months.
Binance’s decision to block US customers is a setback for the cryptocurrency industry, which has been working to gain mainstream adoption in the US. However, it is likely that other exchanges will step up to fill the void left by Binance, and the company’s US-based exchange will still serve American users when it launches later this year.