Bittrex, the Seattle-based exchange running since 2013, closed another 42 markets off to U.S. customers just days after announcing an initial cull of 32, bringing the total to 74. The updates follows Binance’s decision to close access to its platform to Americans, which has led to a mass alt coin sell off and a dramatic rise in the price of Bitcoin as holders of the affected coins, and American Binance customers in general, look for a safe haven.
Update: Market availability changes for U.S. customers. Learn more: https://t.co/Z1yNCPXjNG
— BittrexUS (@BittrexUS) June 15, 2019
Bittrex Turns the Screw on Alts
Bittrex’s update, released on Friday just two days after the first round of blocks was announced, features the following tokens, all of which will be moved to Bittrex International on June 28, a platform unavailable to U.S residents:
The altcoin market has of course taken a severe battering since the highs of 2017/18, with many down at least 90% and struggling for survival. An altcoin apocalypse has been predicted throughout the entire bear market, although a surprising number of tokens have survived. The increasing regulation in the space however, with more almost certainly on the way, represents the biggest test so far for smaller projects, who may see vital sources of revenue cut off.
The tide of regulation, and the preventative actions taken by the likes of Binance and Bittrex could act as a kind of biblical flood, with only a select few taken on the arc. While this will of course be bad news for the projects that die out, it will ensure that the crypto market becomes leaner and only contains projects with viable use cases, although of course there is nothing to stop these projects simply shutting up shop and starting again under a different name down the line.
The reaction to the news garnered a mixture of reactions, ranging from theories regarding the imminent arrival of Facebook’s cryptocurrency to (very probable) suggestions that something big is brewing regulation-wise in the space:
All this bullshit going on with Binance and Bittrex is just to force the US to buy Libra
Look at their investors and backers and tell me I’m wrong
— ⛏Crypto Christopher Walken? (@cryptochrisw) June 15, 2019
The purge of the shitcoins. What government agency contacted you and @cz_binance to get you to do this?
— B-Money (@Brettloug) June 15, 2019
Paradigm Shift Underway
While Bittrex may no longer be one of the top exchanges, it nevertheless continues a pattern that started a month ago when Poloniex geofenced nine coins over fears that they could be judged as being securities. With this action from Bittrex and Binance’s wholesale move to ban U.S. customers entirely, it’s clear that a paradigm shift is underway and that the wild west of crypto might finally be about to get its first sheriff in town.