Binance DEX to Block Users From 29 Countries, Including the U.S.

Francisco Memoria

Binance’s decentralized cryptocurrency exchange is reportedly set to start blocking users from the United States and 28 other countries in July of this year, presumably over regulatory concerns over the tokens that can be listed on the platform. This means they won't be able to trade via Binance.org.

According to TheBlock, Binance has been warning users who access its decentralized exchange from an IP address related to affected countries – which include the USA, Cuba, and Venezuela – that from July 1 onward they’ll no longer be able to access the website.

While it’s possible to circumvent the block using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and other tools, as well as compatible wallets that already support trading, it’s likely most users won’t try to circumvent the block.

The crypto news outlet notes that Binance may be blocking users from nearly 30 countries over a case in which the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged the founder of decentralized exchange EtherDelta with operating an unregistered national securities exchange.

As covered Binance’s DEX has a “transparent and community-driven” listing process. While it doesn’t add every token launched on the Binance Chain the company is likely unable to control security tokens on the exchange. Binance’s goal with its listing process it to facilitate a larger number of crowd-vetted projects, hopefully listing 10x more tokens than currently listed on Binance.com."

The exchange, which was launched earlier this year, already has a $10 million trading volume, although most of it appears to be concentrated on the ONE/BNB trading pair. Other centralized exchanges like OKEx have made it clear they’re also looking to launched decentralized trading platforms, although it’s unclear whether they’ll also block users from specific countries.

 

Featured image by Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker, Flickr, CC by 2.0

Ripple CEO: 'You Don’t Want to Use BTC at Starbucks'

On Thursday (January 23), Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, told the Wallet Street Journal (WSJ) that Bitcoin is not a good means of payment because BTC transactions take too long.

The Ripple CEO's comments were made during his talk with Phillipa Leighton-Jones (Editorial Director for Innovation) at a Ripple-sponsored event (organized by the WSJ) called "Ripple Panel: Changing the Finance Industry From Within" held alongside this year's World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Although we don't yet have a full transcript of this interview, we do know about two of the things he talked about thanks to tweets by Asheesh Birla, SVP of Product at Ripple, who was at this event.

First, it seems that although the Ripple CEO likes Bitcoin as a store of value, he does not see (at least, as of now) as a viable means of payment. The example he gave was paying for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. He believes that BTC transactions take so long to confirm that by the time you have finished paying for your coffee, "it'll be cold." 

Second, within the next 12 months, he sees several companies in the crypto space holding initial public offerings (IPOs) and he wants Ripple to be "on the leading side" since this is "a natural evolution" for Ripple, which raised $200 million via a Series C funding round (which valued the company at $10 billion) last month. 

On Wednesday (January 22), Ripple published the "Q4 2019 XRP Markets Report", which is a quarterly report that allows Ripple to "voluntarily provide transparency and regular updates on the company’s views on the state of the XRP market, including quarterly programmatic and institutional sales updates, relevant XRP-related announcements such as Xpring and RippleNet partnerships and commentary on previous quarter market developments." 

In Q4 2019, Ripple's total XRP sales were down just over 80% compared to the preceding quarter ($13.08 million vs. $66.24 million). Ripple "continued the pause of programmatic sales" (to crypto exchanges), and focused exclusively on over-the-counter (OTC) sales to "a few strategic partners, who are building XRP utility and liquidity in strategic regions including EMEA and Asia."

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com