Cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp has announced its decision to “permanently” suspend trading for several altcoins for its U.S.-based users, effective from August 29, 2023.
Established in 2011 and currently headquartered in Luxembourg, Bitstamp is the longest-standing crypto exchange. Over the past 24 hours, it’s pushed roughly $175 million in volume, according to CoinGecko.
Bitstamp didn’t specify the reasons behind the decision, although the exchange hinted at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) move to classify all seven tokens as unregistered securities in its complaints against Binance and Coinbase.
Update for our US users 📢
Starting August 29: AXS, CHZ, MANA, MATIC, NEAR, SAND, and SOL trading will be halted after evaluating recent market developments.
Execute any open trades. Holding and withdrawing tokens afterwards will be unaffected.
— Bitstamp (@Bitstamp) August 8, 2023
“At Bitstamp, we have a comprehensive framework in place to continuously evaluate the cryptocurrencies we provide, taking into account the dynamic regulatory environment,” the exchange said in an announcement Tuesday. “Considering recent developments, we are making some changes to our crypto offerings—specifically for our customers residing in the United States.”
The exchange has clarified that although trading activities for these seven tokens will be halted, users can still hold them in their accounts and withdraw them at any time.
Bitstamp didn’t immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for comment.
SEC cracks down on crypto exchanges
Binance.US, the American subsidiary of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and Coinbase, the largest crypto trading platform in the U.S., are facing legal challenges as the SEC alleges that multiple tokens available for trading on these platforms qualify as unregistered securities.
The SEC also alleges that Coinbase operated as an unregistered national securities exchange, broker, and clearing agency for years and “elevated its interest in increasing its profits over investors’ interests.”
Coinbase filed a motion to dismiss the SEC’s lawsuit on June 28, arguing that the agency does not have statutory authority over the exchange and that its position regarding its powers is “untenable as a matter of law.”
This was followed by a federal filing last week, in which the San Francisco-based company asked a judge to dismiss the SEC’s case
Last month, a Coinbase representative told Decrypt that the crypto exchange is engaged in discussions with the SEC and believes “that transparent and fair rulemaking and Congressional action […] represent the best path forward for American crypto users and the companies building the cryptoeconomy in the U.S.”