Bitfinex to Bar US Customers from Exchange Trading

Bitfinex has become the first major cryptocurrency exchange to halt the trading of ICO tokens in response to U.S. regulators.

AccessTimeIconAug 11, 2017 at 10:20 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:49 a.m. UTC

Bitfinex, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges by volume, has announced it will no longer allow U.S. investors to purchase certain tokens on its exchange that may be at risk of running afoul with regulators.

According to the company's latest announcement, Bitfinex will also be making other changes to its service, no longer accepting verification requests for U.S. individuals effective immediately. Further, in the next 90 days, it will gradually discontinue all services to U.S. customers.

The exchange explained that the decision follows a recent investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on how tokens issued by way of an initial coin offering (ICO) may be considered securities.

"We anticipate the regulatory landscape to become even more challenging in the future," the statement reads.

Specifically, Bitfinex expects a tightened regulation will apply to all ERC-20 tokens issued via the ethereum blockchain, citing two tokens (EOS and SAN) as offerings that will no longer be available for U.S. customers to purchase.

The company stated that it will suspending the trading of the two coins beginning 12:00 p.m. UTC on August 16.

The decision is a notable one as it is the first sign that major cryptocurrency exchanges may take action to avoid repercussions of the SEC's recent guidance, which hinted trading services would need certain registrations to sell blockchain-based securities.

According to Coinmarketcap data, Bitfinex now ranks the third largest exchange by trading volume, with $331 million in activity over the last 24 hours. EOS and SAN account for $5.7 million and $1.9 million in 24-hour trading, respectively.

Image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.