Unfortunately, U.S.-based traders are being phased off Binance’s flagship platform, Binance.com. This move to kick one of the largest demographics off the crypto platform seems to be in response to regulatory concerns in the U.S.
You see, over recent months, some of the nation’s most powerful politicians have hinted that they aren’t all too excited with Bitcoin, Libra, and their ilk. President Donald Trump, for instance, asserted that 1) cryptocurrencies are backed by “thin air” and are extremely volatile; and 2) accused these digital assets of often facilitating illicit activity, like the laundering of money and the funding of drug operations. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin followed suit, telling media in a presser and CNBC in a number of interviews that compared to cash, Bitcoin is the one that should be stopped. And, of course, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has cracked down hard on the industry, purging altcoin projects and other industry firms whilst naming many crypto assets “securities”.
But, Binance has a solution to these fears: Binance U.S., a “local partner of the global Binance ecosystem” meant to be fully compliant. The subsidiary recently unveiled a blog post in anticipation of the launch, claiming that Binance U.S. will likely launch “in the coming weeks”, and will also give users time to onboard through the mandatory KYC procedure.
Will Binance U.S. Affect Crypto?
So, what effect will the launch of Binance U.S. have on the crypto markets?
Well, since it has happened yet, it isn’t exactly clear. But, we can infer the potential effects of the change using data.
The Block reported earlier this year that its research lead, Larry Cermak, found that the U.S. is “leading the world in crypto interest.” Data from Amazon’s website analytics provider Alexa.com echoes this analysis, which shows that around 17% of Binance’s traffic comes from American IPs.
The Block elaborated on its previous comment, writing:
The Block analyzed exchange data, and found the highest traffic on cryptocurrency exchanges is coming from the U.S., accounting for 24.5% of the total traffic. Japan trailed with 10%, and South Korea, Indonesia and India rounded out the top five. Together they generated about half of the world’s crypto exchange traffic.
Data also shows that much of the crypto market’s fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat volume is denominated in U.S. dollars, implying again that traders in America are responsible for much of the price action seen in Bitcoin and altcoins.
This implies that when Binance.com closes for U.S. citizens, trading volume is likely to drop off even more than it already has, potentially setting the stage for a further collapse in altcoins listed on the Binance flagship platform, but not on the new exchange.