Bitfinex, one of the best-visited exchanges, has decided to stop serving US-based customers, citing regulatory uncertainty. Trading would continue until November 9, although no new accounts would be verified.
The potential withdrawal of Bitfinex has been in the works for a while, as regulation could prove expensive for the company. Similar regulations have caused exchange Poloniex to pull away from New York and other states, where local regulations require high fees. Bitfinex also withdrew from several states.
Bitfinex also seems plagued by a backlog of registrations, as the verification process has been made more complex. In addition, USDT users also go through a screening process, further slowing down operations.
Bitfinex has struggled for a while with its semi-legal status, but the latest news, coming ahead of a Bitcoin hard fork and increased trading on the options tokens, confused Bitfinex users.
US-based users who hold their funds on Bitfinex will have to find another storage solution for Bitcoin as the exchange will not provide automatic services in case of a chain split.
Bitfinex, which is not based in the US, leaves the market to Coinbase, the best-used exchange service. IN general, US-based trading of Bitcoin has shrank a bit, while Japan has taken the lead. Currently, Bitfinex carries around 9% of the BTC/USD trading volume. More than 40% on the trades on the exchange are in the same currency pair, with Ethereum and Ripple also holding prominent positions.
Still, Bitfinex continues to expand its activity, recently adding QTUM trading. In addition to that, Bitfinex partnered with QUOINE, a leading fintech firm. The aim of Bitfinex is to provide pricing information and liquidity for otherwise isolated cryptocurrency and fiat markets. Bitfinex will assist the QUOINE project by listing the QASH coin once the ICO is completed.
US-based users may have to move to exchanges like Poloniex for a wider array of tokens, or choose services like Binance, where more post-ICO tokens get listed every month.