At least for the time being, private bitcoin payment service XMR.to has decided to discontinue allowing customers in the United States to use the service.
US customers no more, for now
“XMR Core Team” presented the news in a March 30 Reddit post on r/Monero.
The announcement stated:
XMR.to will for the time being not be serving customers in the US.
We are working with our legal team to understand the best way forward. This policy will come into force tomorrow.
Thank you for your understanding.”
What is XMR.to?
Users type in the address they want to send bitcoin to, as well as the quantity. XMR.to then informs users on the amount of XMR needed to make the corresponding payment. Users then send the required XMR to the service. XMR.to, in turn, then proceeds to pay the BTC transaction for the users.
Essentially, the service allows customers to make bitcoin transactions indirectly with Monero, via a third party (XMR.to).
The crowd’s response
The Reddit post received numerous comments, several of which contained comedic remarks about the use of a virtual private network (VPN) as a solution to the issue.
One commenter, rs410ga, wrote, “Good thing I live in Veepeeyennistan,” jokingly referring to VPN usage.
Another commenter named “ProgressiveArchitect” questioned how XMR.to might enforce such a rule. “Would they just be blocking all US IP addresses?” the person noted. “This would be pointless since most people utilizing xmr.to are using at minimum a VPN, if not tor and other proxied systems.”
The same user also questioned the occurrence of such a move at this specific point in time, wondering if the U.S. conducted any regulatory alterations leading to the website’s move away from U.S. customers.
Not the first to ban US
XMR.to is not the first crypto service to ban U.S. customers. There are numerous examples that set this precedent. BitMEX has been known for its U.S. customer ban, with many users turning to VPNs as a solution.
The exchange, however, appears to be cracking down on such activity. Popular crypto influencer and trader Tone Vays saw his BitMEX account suspended due to his U.S. residency, as reported by The Block in December of 2018.
Bitfinex also notably placed limitations on U.S. customers back in an announcement in August of 2017. The exchange then proceeded to discontinue all services to U.S. “individual and corporate customers,” as clarified on Bitfinex’s frequently asked questions (FAQ) page on the matter, “[a]s of August 15, 2018.”