Vault of Satoshi is returning to the U.S….gradually. They have announced South Carolina as their first state as part of a phased approach to servicing the U.S. following a self-imposed suspension that lasted for several weeks. (Update: it appears Texas has just been added as well, which seemed to be in high demand from reddit users.)
Residents of the state can now create accounts by selecting their home state, and partake in coin-to-coin trading based on “Level 1 Verification”. ID and Proof of Residency are required for Level 2, which allows for trading in fiat as well.
The exchange announced nearly two months ago their suspension of U.S. operations, saying “the regulatory environment in the US is becoming increasingly hostile toward Bitcoin.” They cited an incredible amount of work needed to meet FinCEN’s requirements, which was made even more difficult by virtue of their operating out of Canada.
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With the resumption of U.S. service is the upcoming arrival of expanded payment options for making deposits. Currently, U.S. customers are somewhat limited relative to their Canadian counterparts, who can pay using pre-authorized debit, online bill payments or on-site Interac debit card deposit. PayPal does not allow for payments for bitcoin exchanges, while credit cards can’t be used for “legal reasons” although it appears that other exchanges allow them. The exact options will be identified in a later announcement.
Though still relatively small when it comes to volume, Vault of Satoshi fills a key niche in employing arguably the most thorough and unique measures of security in the crypto trading industry. One can say that it is really part of a broader culture of valuing of security and aversion to risk. Their suspension of U.S. activity was entirely voluntary. Adam Cochran, Director of Marketing, has said that the exchange sought to ensure fully safe and compliant activities, without any gaps induced by continuing operations while racing to catch up with newly instated regulations. Indeed, many exchanges were found not to be in compliance soon after the regulations came out.
Vault of Satoshi were also one of the first to take protective measures against the Heartbleed bug, news of which was barely disseminated by the time they took action. Last week, they incorporated an automated proof-of-solvency tool that allows any user to perform their own “audit”.