Even though the United States laid the early foundation for crypto in 1983, thanks to the innovative idea of the American cryptographer David Chaum, it is still not the most crypto-friendly country.
Although they are some exchanges in the US, several top crypto exchanges choose not to operate in the United States due to the unfavorable crypto landscape. As a result, they seek alternative locations where they can operate without such regulations. Additionally, some crypto exchanges prefer to steer clear of the United States altogether.
In this article, we will discuss the leading cryptocurrency exchanges that are unavailable to customers residing in the United States.
OKX is one of the top crypto exchanges that does not allow US citizens residing in the country to use their services. The major reason behind this is the issue of regulatory compliance in the United States.
In the US, numerous crypto exchanges have been banned due to unclear regulatory rules, including OKX. Their Service Agreement cites Section 2.2 as the reason for this decision. On their website, OKX has listed the countries and locations that are not available for their services. OKX has restricted its service in politically tense areas such as Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk — and then the US, no thanks to unending regulations.
Bitget is a leading crypto exchange whose focus is mainly on derivatives trading. It was established in 2018 and has grown its user base to more than 8 million users, but it is not still available in the United States.
Bitget is not among the crypto exchanges not in the US, and the reason for this is regulatory compliance. Bitget seems to be prioritizing establishing itself in countries with more cryptocurrency-friendly environments. In fact, they recently opened one of their branches in Dubai.
According to their terms and conditions:
"As per the exchange's terms and conditions, residents of the United States, Singapore, Canada (Ontario, Quebec), Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Crimea are prohibited from using Bitget."
Huobi is a crypto exchange that was initially based in China before they moved to Singapore after China banned crypto. However, they were still operating in the United States for some time until 2019.
Then, Huobi announced they would be freezing accounts belonging to United States residents. They gave some time for customers to withdraw their funds before closing down. Then they opened a Huobi.us, which operated for a while before closing down too. The major reason lies in the unfriendly crypto environment in the country.
It is important to note that Bybit is currently not considered a fully operational crypto exchange in the US. As a result, those who reside in the US are not permitted to use its services. It should be noted that Bybit is not considered legal in the US due to its failure to comply with the regulatory rules set by the country.
Moreover, the Securities and Exchange Commission is always available to hit crypto exchanges with lawsuits. Instead of the US, Bybit is expanding to locations like Dubai.
If you are someone living in the United States, you won't use Bitfinex as a crypto exchange. Bitfinex is a crypto exchange founded in 2012 and provides a wide range of services, such as margin trading and the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. However, the exchange themselves mentioned being not available in the United States. They said:
"According to the Bitfinex Terms of Service, if you are a United States Citizen or United States Resident, you will not be able to use the Bitfinex platform."
Kucoin is not accessible to individuals located in the United States. However, it has been reported that some US citizens may attempt to circumvent these restrictions through the use of VPNs. Using a VPN to access these services is not advised and may expose you to legal action.
Kucoin is a crypto exchange that was founded in 2017 and has witnessed some massive growth. It has over 20 million users with over 700 cryptocurrencies available in its exchange. But all these aren't available in the US, as they have been restricted to the United States. They don't have a license to operate in the country. This is mainly due to regulatory issues in the United States.
Binance, the popular cryptocurrency exchange, does not operate in the United States. Instead, there is a separate version called Binance.US. In June 2019, the exchange announced a ban on all US traders.
Over time, Binance had to create a separate US version that differs from the main platform. The services offered on Binance.US are distinct from those on the main platform because they comply with US regulatory laws.