Crypto exchange Bitstamp will discontinue staking services for customers based in the United States. In a message shared with Cointelegraph, the exchange announced the ending of Ether (ETH) staking as of Sept. 25.
“Customers will continue earning staking rewards up until September 25, 2023, and after that, all staked assets will be unstaked. Rewards, along with the principal, will be credited to users’ main Bitstamp account balances,” said Bobby Zagotta, U.S. CEO and global chief commercial officer at Bitstamp, warning that it could take a few days for users’ balances to reflect the changes.
According to Bitstamp’s website, it charges a 15% commission on all staking rewards. The monthly reward rate for staking ETH on the exchange is 4.50%; by comparison, the monthly reward for staking Algorand (ALGO) is 1.60%. With the move, the U.S. joins other countries where Bitstamp staking services aren’t available, including Canada, Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
The decision appears to be related to recent legal developments in the United States. In early August, Bitstamp announced at least seven altcoins would no longer be offered in the country. They were Axie Infinity (AXS), Chiliz (CHZ), Decentraland (MANA), Polygon (MATIC), Near (NEAR), The Sandbox (SAND) and Solana (SOL). While the company didn’t specify why it suspended trading, all seven tokens were deemed unregistered securities by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June as part of its lawsuits against crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase.
Update for our US users 📢
Starting August 29: AXS, CHZ, MANA, MATIC, NEAR, SAND, and SOL trading will be halted after evaluating recent market developments.
Execute any open trades. Holding and withdrawing tokens afterwards will be unaffected.
— Bitstamp (@Bitstamp) August 8, 2023
Ether is the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain and the second largest by market cap behind Bitcoin (BTC). A central issue surrounding the ongoing regulatory environment in the U.S. relates to whether ETH could be classified as a commodity or a security. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has repeatedly called Ether a commodity, while SEC Chair Gary Gensler said at a hearing in April that Bitcoin was a commodity but would not specify whether ETH should be deemed a security.