Bitcoin Exchange Bitfinex Exits Washington State In 24 Hours, Licence Problems Cited
The Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex announced it would stop serving Washington State customers due to legal concerns, giving them just 24 hours to withdraw their funds.
Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex has suddenly withdrawn from Washington State following a regulatory debacle it has appeared to lose.
In a notification reproduced on Reddit by a Washington resident user, the exchange said that it would need to acquire a state money transmitter license in order to continue serving clients.
“At this time, we are not obtaining a money transmitter license in Washington and, accordingly, we will no longer be doing business with verified Washington customers, effective immediately,” it wrote.
Washington-based traders have only until Wednesday to withdraw their funds, Bitfinex added.
The patchwork nature of state-by-state regulatory requirements in the US have been a constant problem from cryptocurrency businesses. Across the continent in New York, the BItlicense scheme famously resulted in a mass exodus of startups previously resident in the state, along with blocking of users by those based elsewhere.
Bitfinex itself has had a troublesome few weeks, having earlier fended off a “severe” DDOS attack as Bitcoin’s price surge sent trading activity into overdrive.
Earlier this week, fellow exchange Coinbase announced it was no longer catering to customers in Hawaii after authorities deemed it necessary from cryptocurrency businesses to keep equal or greater reserves of fiat currency on hand as a backup.
Coinbase described the requirements as “impractical” and requested customers to withdraw funds and close their accounts.