Phoenix and Wasabi Exit US Market Amid Wallet Crackdown

ACINQ’s Bitcoin wallet, Phoenix Wallet, and zkSNACKs’ Wasabi Wallet have decided to discontinue their services for customers in the United States. This decision comes in response to the recent crackdown on two major self-custodial cryptocurrency wallet providers. ACINQ and zkSNACKs expressed concerns about the legitimacy of self-custodial wallet providers as money service businesses following actions taken by regulatory agencies against Consensys and Samourai Wallet.

ZkSNACKs made an official statement on April 27, stating that they are now strictly prohibiting U.S. users from using their services due to recent announcements by U.S. authorities. ACINQ, in a post on X on April 26, explained that recent announcements by U.S. authorities raise doubts about the classification of self-custodial wallet providers, Lightning service providers, and Lightning nodes as Money Services Businesses.

ACINQ has given Phoenix Wallet users until May 2 to adapt to the upcoming changes, while the new policy at Wasabi Wallet took immediate effect. ACINQ advised Phoenix Wallet users to empty their wallets, but not to force-close them as on-chain fees could be significant.

Authorities worldwide have been arguing that self-custody crypto wallets could potentially aid in illicit activities like money laundering. On April 25, it was reported that Consensys received a Wells notice from the SEC, warning of potential enforcement actions related to its MetaMask Swaps and MetaMask Staking products. The SEC allegedly stated in a phone conference that Consensys was operating as an unregistered broker-dealer. Similarly, the co-founders of Samourai Wallet were arrested on April 24 on charges of money laundering brought by the U.S. Justice Department and other agencies.

European regulators have recently eased proposed regulations concerning self-custody wallets. A majority of the European Parliament’s lead committees removed a 1,000 euro limit on crypto payments from self-hosted wallets as part of new anti-money laundering laws. Crypto exchanges still need to conduct due diligence, including identity verification checks, on users involved in transactions of at least 1,000 euros.

Ginnifer Wyckoff

Ginnifer Wyckoff

10 thoughts on “Phoenix and Wasabi Exit US Market Amid Wallet Crackdown

  1. I can’t believe they arrested the co-founders of Samourai Wallet on charges of money laundering. Talk about overkill!

  2. It’s unfortunate that the actions taken against Consensys and Samourai Wallet have caused ripple effects on other wallet providers.

  3. I feel like the U.S. is falling behind in terms of embracing cryptocurrencies. They’re stifling innovation!

  4. Kudos to ACINQ for giving Phoenix Wallet users some time to adapt to the changes. That’s considerate.

  5. Wow, it’s unfortunate to see ACINQ and zkSNACKs discontinuing their services for customers in the U.S. This crackdown is really impacting the crypto community.

  6. European regulators’ decision to remove the 1,000 euro limit on crypto payments from self-hosted wallets is a win for user convenience and accessibility.

  7. I thought the whole point of cryptocurrencies was decentralization and freedom. Now they want to regulate everything!

  8. ACINQ and zkSNACKs must have faced a difficult decision in discontinuing their services. It’s a tough position to be in. 🤷‍♂️

  9. ACINQ advising users to empty their wallets instead of force-closing them is a helpful tip. Thanks for considering the on-chain fees!

  10. It’s disheartening to see Consensys and Samourai Wallet facing regulatory actions. It adds to the uncertainty in the crypto space.

Leave a Reply