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Over the past few weeks, several businesses that deal in the buying, selling and trading of cryptocurrencies have announced they will be restricting their services to several countries. Arguably two of the most popular crypto exchanges in the world, Binance and Bittrex, revealed lists featuring approximately 30 countries that will be blocked from accessing their services later this year.
Most commonly, the lists include some or all of the following countries: the United States, Albania, Bangladesh, Belarus, Burma, Cambodia, Central African Republic, the DRC, North Korea, Croatia, Cuba, Bosnia Herzegovina, India, Iran, Iraq, Kosovo, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Moldova, Nepal, Qatar, Serbia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
The United States sticks out amongst a list of countries that are either communist, ex-Soviet, dictatorial or in the midst of war. Often a country might choose to ban cryptocurrencies for religious or political reasons, but for many, the ban is instigated by the crypto service provider itself. Many crypto businesses are unable to offer services in the US due to ongoing uncertainty from the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) regarding whether or not cryptocurrencies are securities.
Legal and regulatory clarity also differs from state to state, with New York being one of the most restrictive of the US states.
Recently, the crypto exchange Poloniex was forced to delist nine digital tokens from its platform due to regulatory uncertainty, prompting criticism from its parent company, the US crypto firm Circle. Soon after, cryptocurrency exchange Bancor ceased all services to the US due to its desire to nurture an all-inclusive environment and not ban any tokens. The crypto payment gateway Coinpayments was recently forced to enact similar restrictions.