Abra Wallet Announces Restrictions for U.S. Customers

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Abra, a top-of-the-line cryptocurrency wallet, will be taking steps to restrict Americans from accessing the entirety of its services. Abra published an update to its platform, which revealed that it will only be offering a limited service package to American users.

According to the update, U.S users will no longer be able to keep Bitcoin Gold, EOS, QTUM, Status, and OmiseGO tokens from August 29, 2019.

If these tokens aren’t converted to other compatible coins by the deadline, they’ll be automatically converted to Bitcoin.

Read: Our Review of the Abra Wallet

In addition to this, the mobile wallet provider also made some specific decisions targeted at New York users. Going forward, Abra users residing in New York will no longer be able to make money transfers directly to the wallet with bank Automated Clearing House (ACH), wire transfers, or American Express cards and make withdrawals from August 29 as well.

Regulatory Uncertainty claims Another Victim

In the update, Abra specifically mentioned that the moves were necessitated by the current uncertainty that has engulfed the American crypto community.

“From presidential tweets to Congressional hearings, there is intense interest and scrutiny about cryptocurrencies and how they work. As a result of continued regulatory uncertainty and restrictions in the United States, we have to make some adjustments to our US business in an effort to continue to be compliant and cooperative with US regulations as they currently exist,” the update reads.

It is especially peculiar, because Abra is the second crypto-focused company to take action against American users this week alone, citing regulatory uncertainty.

The other company was Circle, a popular payment processor and operator of the Poloniex cryptocurrency exchange. However, instead of restricting users from certain services, Circle chose to move a section of its business to Bermuda.

In an announcement notifying users of the move, Circle revealed that the decision to move to Bermuda was because the country’s regulatory framework has so far been able to keep pace with innovations in the global crypto industry.

The company, however, added that regulatory limitations within the United States meant that they wouldn’t be able to offer some of their upcoming asset listings and platform capabilities, U.S.-based customers.

In part, the announcement states, “Unfortunately, because of US regulatory limitations, we will not be able to offer many of these new services to US persons for now. However, we’re committed to serving US customers as best we can despite the constraints.” Circle added that they’d be looking to advocate for changes to U.S. policies concerning crypto, but since they’re packing their bags, it doesn’t seem lobbying would be on their priority list, going forward.

Capitol Hill wants to discuss Crypto

There seems to be hope on the horizon, however. Earlier this week, the United States Senate published an announcement revealing that it would be holding a broader debate on regulations for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

The hearing, entitled “Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain,” will be convened on July 30, with some notable names in the crypto, tech, and legal sectors set to be in attendance. Hopefully, they lay the groundwork for cryptocurrency regulations and get the industry moving forward.

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