Business

Steve Kaaru

Poloniex disables markets for 9 crypto tokens, but only for US clients

Cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex has announced that it will stop offering up to nine cryptocurrencies for its customers based in the United States due to regulatory uncertainty, the exchange revealed in a blog post.

The tokens are Ardor (ARDR), a blockchain-as-a-service platform; GameCredits (GAME), a gaming industry-focused token; ByteCoin (BCN), a private and untraceable cryptocurrency; Decred (DCR), an autonomous digital currency that set out to solve most of the challenges facing Bitcoin Core; NXT, a decentralized ecosystem for developing dApps; and Augur (REP), a decentralized prediction market.

Also banned for U.S. customers are Omni Layer (OMNI), an open source decentralized platform on the Bitcoin Core blockchain; Lisk (LSK), a smart contracts network; and GasToken (GAS), an Ethereum contract that allows users to tokenize gas on the Ethereum network.

Poloniex cited the current regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies in the country as the reason for its decision. The U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) has indicated previously that many digital assets qualify as securities. The exchange wrote:

“Specifically, it is not possible to be certain whether U.S. regulators will consider these assets to be securities. We understand how frustrating this choice is for our customers, and for the crypto community more broadly. We believe in the power and potential of these assets, and will continue to focus time and energy on supporting positive policy and regulatory developments for crypto assets in the U.S. and around the world.”

Unsurprisingly, the delisting had a far-reaching effect on these tokens’ prices. In the past 24 hours, Lisk is down 13%, Omni Layer is down 20%, NXT is down 16.3%, while Bytecoin is down 22% on CoinMarketCap.

Poloniex was acquired in February this year by payments startup Circle. Circle’s CEO Jeremy Allaire expressed his regret at the decision, stating that his hand was forced by the regulators. He stated:

“We are deeply frustrated that we needed to take these steps, which are the result of an increasingly limited environment in the U.S. for crypto assets. Recent guidance from U.S. regulators on what crypto assets would be deemed securities has led to these actions. We don’t agree that they should be considered securities but need to ensure we are in compliance with U.S. law.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

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