On Friday, June 9, Crypto.com, the Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, announced the suspension of its institutional exchange services in the United States, according to a statement from the company. The decision, set to take effect starting June 21, 2023, is primarily attributed to the lackluster demand from institutional customers in the prevailing market scenario.
Institutional clients, typically large, accredited entities with substantial investment capacities, have been the target audience for Crypto.com’s institutional service. However, the current market landscape, most recently led by stringent regulatory scrutiny and volatile conditions, has led to a decline in demand from these institutional entities.
Reading the regulatory room
While Crypto.com is suspending its institutional exchange service, the company’s retail mobile application and platform will continue to operate unhindered in the U.S. The retail users, in fact, will still have access to cryptocurrency derivatives trading regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the exchange’s UpDown Options offering, which enables users to speculate on the future movements of a variety of cryptocurrencies.
In the wake of the SEC’s lawsuit filings against Coinbase and Binance this week, alleging violations of securities laws, globally operated exchanges are taking the temperature of the regulatory atmosphere. This move comes at a time when the U.S. is proving to be a challenging terrain for cryptocurrency companies. Such a regulatory crackdown has intensified over the past eight months following the collapse of FTX and has been met with resistance from the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Just prior to the suspension of its U.S. institutional service, Crypto.com received a major payment institution license for digital payment token services from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which allows it to offer its services in the country.
Crypto.com, a recognized brand in the crypto space, had earlier this year announced a 20 percent reduction in its global workforce in January 2023. The company (known in part for its commercial featuring actor Matt Damon in 2021) allows clients to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. It also offers a Visa debit card for users to spend digital assets with.
As the regulatory environment in the United States continues to evolve, exchanges around the world could be forced to rapidly alter their policies and operations to avoid finding themselves in a similar situation to Binance and Coinbase.