Texas, long considered one of the friendliest states in the US to bitcoin, now has one less industry startup operating within its borders.
In a phone conversation with CoinDesk, a representative of bitcoin exchange itBit said it would no longer be doing business in the state.
Spokesman Kyle Arteaga told CoinDesk:
“I can confirm that itBit is no longer supporting Texas residents at this time.”
Affected customers have until 14th April to withdraw their funds.
That leaves itBit open for business in the other 49 states. In May 2015, itBit announced it had been granted status as a limited purpose trust company by the state of New York, letting it operate much like a bank in all fifty states. While it was allowed to hold funds for its customers, it was not allowed to make loans or take deposits.
In an email to CoinDesk, Texas-based itBit customer Andre Fontenot forwarded an email from the company with instructions for how to withdrawal his funds. Another customer later took to social media with information about an email detailing the Texas pull-back.
The email read:
“We regret to inform you that starting today, itBit will no longer be supporting Texas residents. Your existing account may not be used to trade on our exchange or OTC trading desk.”
In interview, Fontenot sounded surprised by the news that itBit was ending its services in the Lone Star State.
“I just got through reading something about how Texas was going to be the next bitcoin capital,” he said.
Indeed, since April 2014 when the Texas Department of Banking released a memo outlining its regulatory position on digital currencies, the state has been widely viewed as one of the friendliest in the US to bitcoin businesses.
In the email to customers, itBit suggested that it may reopen to Texas customers at some point in the future.
“Thank you for being an itBit customer. We will contact you if our status in Texas changes in the future,” it read.
Disclaimer: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in itBit.