Crypto exchanges are one of the bedrocks of the industry as they are the system by which the trading of cryptocurrency is facilitated. They are also reflective of the state of the industry in terms of transaction volumes and trading trends. For example, it was recently revealed that Chinese trading volumes on localbitcoins.com have seen an all-time low which might be indicative of stricter restrictions being placed on Chinese citizens or withdrawal of interest from them with regards to crypto trading.
This is not the only news to come out of LocalBitcoins this week as it has now been reported that accounts across multiple regions are being spontaneously suspended by the platform without any notice.
The closing down of accounts has not had much announcement surrounding it though the platform has cited due diligence in recent times. Apparently, accounts from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East have seen been repeatedly suspended in the last few weeks and many users have found themselves unable to withdraw their funds. This is rather significant as LocalBitcoins is one of the most popular peer-to-peer trading platforms for cryptocurrency.
Complaints began pouring in last week when users from Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Syria, and Pakistan found themselves unable to withdraw their funds and their accounts closed down. There has been no official word from LocalBitcoins about this but according to a user on populous site Reddit, this is due to European anti-money laundering regulations that are coming into effect. However, customer service for LocalBitcoins has not been responding. In a separate post by the same user, it is stated that those whose accounts were closed down received the following message:
“Customers residing or otherwise located in the following countries are required to have an enhanced due diligence process. The countries are defined by EU commission: Afghanistan, American Samoa, The Bahamas, Botswana, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guam, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, US Virgin Islands, Yemen.”