Uphold, a cryptocurrency exchange integrated into the Brave Rewards program, recently announced that it will be ending its staking services for U.S. customers on April 27, 2023. This decision was made in response to recent guidance from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has been cracking down on crypto-related products and companies. Uphold stated that it “can’t ignore the recent SEC guidance on staking” and is therefore ending its services until there is greater legal and regulatory clarity.
Despite the recent exodus of crypto projects leaving the U.S. due to uncertainty over the regulatory environment, Uphold is remaining resolute and not leaving the country entirely. The company plans to continue offering its other services within the U.S. market.
However, this move by Uphold is not unique, as other crypto-related companies have also withdrawn from the U.S. market due to regulatory uncertainty. In December, Nexo made a similar announcement, citing “a lack of regulatory clarity.” Additionally, companies such as SushiSwap, Coinbase, Justin Sun, and celebrities associated with FTX have all faced SEC scrutiny in recent weeks.
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.” With the state of regulatory uncertainty in the industry, the future of the crypto industry in the U.S., outside of Bitcoin, appears uncertain in 2023.
Uphold’s decision to end its staking services for U.S. customers is a preemptive move in response to the SEC’s recent guidance on staking. While it is unclear when regulatory clarity will emerge, Uphold’s decision to continue offering its other services within the U.S. market demonstrates a commitment to the industry’s long-term future in the country.