Crypto exchange CEX.IO is expanding its dedicated US offering with additional approvals in a bid to avoid uncertainty around its legality. For the US offshoot, the company has received Money Transmitter Licenses in nine states, including Iowa, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Maryland, Alaska, and New Hampshire.
CEX.io had received a money service business (MSB) status with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) back in 2015, which allows a company to act as a money transmitter in the United States with the stringent independent annual audit. However, the service was restricted to residents in states where MTLs are not required. Excluded therefore were 28 US states and territories, which are now available for CEX.IO to serve their residents, with plans to expand to all 50 states.
Being designated a money transmitter under FinCEN rules means CEX.IO is now obliged to follow federal AML and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations.
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The news follows similar moves by other cryptocurrency venues such as Huobi and Bittrex which launched a purely crypto trading service for the US. It also comes on the heels of Binance’s decision to launch a dedicated platform in the US through a partner entity dubbed BAM Trading Services, a FinCEN-registered company. But Binance goes a step further, setting aside American users from trading on Binance.com.
Founded in 2013, CEX.io classifies itself as a self-regulated venue and is licensed as a Money Services Business (MSB) since the only regulation relevant to such businesses in the UK is a European Union law – the fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. When it started out, CEX.io wasn’t an exchange but a cloud mining platform.
Oleksandr Lutskevych, CEO and Founder of CEX.IO, commented: “The USA has always been a strategically significant market for our company and the industry in general. This country has always been on the front line of developing blockchain industry infrastructure, and the maturity of the crypto regulation serves as one of the best indicators of that. We believe that the launch of our dedicated CEX.IO US presence will allow a more thorough investigation of the local customers’ needs, facilitate the obtaining of MTL licenses in new states, and make our platform more geared for US crypto users.”