Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is open to US citizens. The Malta-based company announced the news in a blog post on Tuesday.
The exchange will now allow US-based investors to trade cryptocurrencies on its platform, with some exceptions. Binance will not support trading of certain tokens that are considered securities under US law.
This move comes as Binance looks to expand its reach in the US market. The exchange has been seeking a regulatory partner in the US since last year.
The news also comes as Binance prepares to launch its own US-based cryptocurrency exchange later this year. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in an interview with Bloomberg last month that the exchange is on track to launch its US platform by the end of 2019.
It is unclear if Binance’s US expansion plans are connected to its decision to open up its platform to US citizens. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The decision to allow US investors on its platform is a major shift for Binance, which has long been seen as a haven for crypto traders looking to avoid regulations. The exchange has been criticized for listing controversial tokens and for allegedly helping users wash trade cryptocurrencies.
Binance has taken steps to improve its compliance in recent months. The exchange hired a former compliance officer from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in March, and it has worked with regulators in Malta and Japan.
The move to open up its platform to US investors indicates that Binance is serious about expanding its business in the world’s largest economy. Whether or not the company will be able to navigate the complex regulatory landscape remains to be seen.