Bancor restricts US crypto traders as regulatory uncertainty continues

Decentralized crypto exchange Bancor has announced that traders in the United States are to be excluded from its platform, amid persistent regulatory uncertainty.

According to a post published to the exchange’s blog, Bancor cites the ongoing climate of uncertainty around crypto regulation in the U.S., which the firm says risks stifling innovation in its ecosystem. As a result, all users with a U.S. IP address will be excluded from cryptocurrency transactions through the platform, effective from July 8.

“This decision has been made in light of increased regulatory uncertainty; at this time, we believe this is the most judicious decision for all the members of our ecosystem…This will enable the Bancor community and ecosystem to innovate faster and with greater clarity,” the exchange stated.

The decision follows uncertainty around the legal status of decentralized exchanges in the U.S. Last November, the founder of decentralized exchange Etherdelta was fined $300,000. Zachary Coburn was charged with operating an unregistered exchange by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), amid a backdrop of a lack of legal certainty and increasing enforcement efforts.

Bancor said that users will still be permitted to transfer cryptocurrency, and to hold tokens within their accounts. The exchange also noted that by nature, the decentralized parts of its network were outside of its control, and may still permit U.S. transactions after the July deadline.

“We would like to clarify that this functionality will be blocked to users accessing the website, which offers an interface to blockchain activity,” the exchange stated. “As the Bancor Liquidity Network is a collection of smart contracts on the blockchain, and a non-custodial system, we cannot restrict users from accessing the blockchain itself. This cannot be blocked.”

The news will nevertheless add weight to calls for U.S. lawmakers to clarify the parameters of cryptocurrency legislation. U.S. agencies have come under fire for their interpretation of existing laws around securities, as well as for the lack of defined roles for different regulatory agencies.

As a result, Bancor joins a number of other firms that have decided to defer their U.S. operations until the position is clarified.

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