Crypto exchange Uphold, which is integrated into the Brave Rewards program of the Brave browser, has sent an email to customers indicating that it will end its staking services to U.S. customers on April 27, 2023.
Following recent moves by the SEC to crack down on crypto-related products and companies, Uphold announced that it “can’t ignore the recent SEC guidance on staking” and is thus preemptively ending its staking services.
Uphold confirmed that the SEC had not contacted it and is ending its U.S. staking services “until there is greater legal & regulatory clarity.”
From March 22, user funds will be unstaked by Uphold and become “accessible between now and April 27, 2023.” The time for funds to become available will depend on the individual blockchain’s “unbounding period.”
Uphold remains firm amid US exodus
Crypto projects have been leaving the U.S. due to uncertainty over the regulatory environment. Nexo made a similar announcement in December, citing “a lack of regulatory clarity.” Also, SushiSwap, Coinbase, Justin Sun, and celebrities tied to FTX, including Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Soulja Boy, Akon, and Ne-Yo, were all contacted by the SEC this week regarding their crypto-related activities within the last week.
On March 23, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire commented on the apparent SEC crackdown, stating that there “seems to be a large-scale risk-off from USD exposed to U.S. banks and U.S. regulatory risk.”
The future of the crypto industry outside of Bitcoin appears uncertain within the U.S. in 2023. Following the collapse of FTX, there have now been countless actions by the SEC to tighten the reigns on companies and individuals offering crypto, or web3, services in the U.S. However, it seems that rather than fight the SEC, some companies are choosing to simply close their U.S. markets until the regulatory and legal framework is more transparent.
However, Uphold is remaining resolute in the face of regulatory uncertainty and is currently not leaving the U.S. The company plans to continue offering its other services in the country.
An Uphold spokesperson told CryptoSlate in an email:
Uphold is not leaving the US at all–we remain active, properly regulated, and support millions of US customers, and have no plans whatsoever to leave the US market. We are merely discontinuing one product feature of many that we offer in the US.
*Article updated to clarify that Uphold is not leaving the US, along with response from Uphold spokesperson.