Online Cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex has announced an end to service in New Hampshire.
Due to regulatory changes, the exchange has announced it will be suspending all accounts from opening new margin positions. All New Hampshire customers are asked to close out all current orders and suspend their accounts indefinitely.
In a notice posted on the exchange’s website, as well as sent to select users, Poloniex explains its struggle to maintain services despite a rapidly changing regulatory environment:
“Our legal team is working closely with the State of New Hampshire Banking Department and other regulatory agencies to verify that changes in their statutes apply to the services offered by Poloniex and to seek licenses where necessary. This is a nascent industry; as the regulations around it mature, these types of service disruptions may not be entirely avoidable, but we have been and will continue to be proactive in educating regulators and monitoring both existing laws and upcoming changes to these laws so that we can limit interruptions wherever possible.
We look forward to welcoming back New Hampshire residents at a future date. Until then, we will do everything we can to help you wind down your account.”
Legislators still struggle to reduce government involvement in Crypto
New Hampshire has grappled with deregulation of cryptocurrencies for some time now. A group of legislators, many of them accepting Bitcoin donations for their own electoral campaigns, pushed for the state government to accept Bitcoin payments. This legislation was ultimately unsuccessful.
On the governmental front, Switzerland seems to have had more legislative success with Bitcoin. Zug, a town in the famed “Crypto valley,” began accepting Bitcoin for government services earlier this year as part of a year-long test run for the currency.
New Hampshire doesn’t need Poloniex
Despite the unfortunate development with Poloniex, New Hampshire’s Bitcoin scene is thriving regardless. The state is one of the world’s most Bitcoin-friendly areas, with a wide variety of businesses accepting the currency, including organic farmer’s markets and a burgeoning urban restaurant scene. The state also claims three publicly accessible Bitcoin ATMs, more than all the surrounding states combined and even greater than New York City's per capita.
The real strength of the Bitcoin scene in New Hampshire is in the community, as Manchester claimed the longest-running weekly meetup in the world where attendees frequently buy and sell without an exchange. Finally, the state is home to the Porcupine Freedom Festival, a weeklong summer festival where Bitcoin is accepted on the same level (or perhaps more) as Dollars.