Bitfinex is the largest Bitcoin exchange by trading volume right now. That situation will likely come to change in about a month from now, though. Bitfinex has officially announced it will exit the US market as early as November 9th. This is a major development in the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, even though the long-term impact should be minimal.
A Major Announcement by Bitfinex
Most cryptocurrency enthusiasts are well aware that Bitfinex was bound to leave the US market sooner or later. Indeed, the company hinted at such a development just a few weeks ago. By no longer servicing US customers moving forward, a lot of things will change in the world of Bitcoin. Considering that Bitfinex is generating most USD volume for Bitcoin right now, its departure will create a power vacuum waiting to be filled by emerging players.
It is certainly true the US has become somewhat hostile when it comes to cryptocurrency these days. With increased scrutiny against both cryptocurrencies and ICOs of late, any exchange linked to either form of money will face a lot of scrutiny. Come November 9th, Bitfinex will end all deposits, withdrawals, and trading for all US individual customers. This is a very interesting decision that will have major repercussions for the US Bitcoin market, although the impact globally shouldn’t last all that long.
For the time being, US individual customers are barred from receiving money from other Bitfinex users using the peer-to-peer financing platform available on the platform. Moreover, no US customers will be able to provide financing services on Bitfinex come November 9th.
It is advised all US customers withdraw their money and tokens before the cutoff date, though. It is evident there will be a lot of issues facing anyone wishing to access this money after that date, as these warnings have been given well ahead of time. This also means people who still own Recovery Right Tokens will need to sell them on the exchange over the coming weeks. Some people may recall the Recovery Right Tokens, which relate to the Bitfinex hack that took place about a year ago.
Under normal circumstances, selling such tokens would not be allowed, but the company has had to make a big exception in this regard. All US customers are barred from buying these tokens during this time period, though, although there may be some arbitrage opportunities to take advantage of. It is evident Bitfinex is very serious about leaving the US market once and for all. It will be interesting to see how this decision plays out when looking at the bigger picture.
For Bitcoin itself, this development shouldn’t have any major repercussions whatsoever. There are plenty of exchanges where Americans can buy, sell, and trade Bitcoin, as well as other major cryptocurrencies. This does mean the largest global exchange by trading volume will need to be replaced in the rankings. It is highly likely the new top dog will be either bitFlyer or Bithumb, depending on how new regulations affect both countries moving forward.