As the United States grapples with the challenge of cryptocurrency regulation, Bitstamp, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, has announced the discontinuation of its Ethereum staking service exclusively for US users. This decision comes in the wake of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) ambiguity regarding the regulatory status of cryptocurrencies, leaving users and companies alike in a state of uncertainty.
Bitstamp’s move to terminate its Ethereum staking service in the US was made public on Tuesday. According to the announcement, users will have until September 25 to earn rewards on their staked Ethereum assets. After this date, the staked tokens will be unstaked and returned to users’ accounts. The exchange attributed this decision to the complex regulatory environment in the United States. In a statement, Bitstamp explained:
“Considering current regulatory dynamics in the US, we’ve made the decision to discontinue staking for customers residing in the United States.”
This move is not the first of its kind by Bitstamp. Earlier in the month, the exchange also ceased offering several other cryptocurrencies, including Polygon (MATIC) and Solana (SOL). While specific reasons were not provided for these delistings, speculations have arisen regarding the SEC’s classification of these assets as “unregistered securities.”
The SEC’s stance on crypto assets has raised concerns within the industry, leading to legal actions against cryptocurrency service providers for offering unregistered securities and violating securities laws. Prominent exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase have faced regulatory scrutiny from the SEC, underscoring the regulatory agency’s increasing influence in the crypto space.
The practice of staking cryptocurrencies has also been under the SEC’s scrutiny since February, following the regulatory body’s $30 million penalty imposed on Kraken. Consequently, Kraken suspended its crypto-staking services. Bitstamp’s recent decision aligns with the increasing caution adopted by crypto exchanges in response to the evolving regulatory landscape in the United States.
As the debate on cryptocurrency regulation continues, the discontinuation of Bitstamp’s Ethereum staking service serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by both crypto enthusiasts and businesses in navigating the intricate regulatory environment in the US.