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OKX Adjusts Offerings: USDT Delisted In European Market

OKX Adjusts Offerings: USDT Delisted In European Market

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Tether’s USDT stablecoin has been officially delisted on the OKX crypto exchange for all European users prior to the enactment of the MiCA regulations in the EU. 

No More USDT Pairs On OKX

Tether’s USDT trading pairs are no longer supported by crypto exchange OKX in the European Economic Area (EEA). The news broke when an X user posted a screenshot of a customer support message that appeared to confirm that USDT trading pairs are no longer supported in the European market. 

The message reads, 

“The availability of USDT trading pairs in your current region has been discontinued. Please note that not all tokens are supported in all markets due to regulatory requirements…Moving forward, only EUR and USDC pairs will be accessible for spot trading.” 

Ambiguous Conditions

On March 14, OKX verified that users in the EEA could no longer trade Tether. However, despite this confirmation, OKX's website continued to permit EEA traders access to USDT pairs as of March 15. This discrepancy led to uncertainty surrounding the situation.

USDT, valued at $100 billion, stands as the foremost stablecoin in trading volume and plays a pivotal role in facilitating crypto trading on centralized exchanges, particularly as the most liquid pairing for bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.

The reason behind the delistings remains ambiguous. Speculation on social media suggests a connection to the upcoming Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework. While not explicitly stated in the customer support message, references to "regulatory requirements" hint at potential compliance issues.

Implications of MiCA Regulations

The move by OKX could signify impending regulatory challenges for USDT in the EEA. The MiCA legislation, expected to be enforced by the end of 2024, will introduce stringent rules for stablecoin issuers.

Under the new regulations, stablecoin issuers must be registered as electronic money institutions. Consequently, numerous stablecoins presently available in Europe lack authorization and regulation as e-money transmitters, rendering them illegal. 

OKX's delisting of USDT pairs reflects a broader trend of exchanges adjusting their offerings to comply with regulatory changes. European traders may experience limitations in accessing certain digital assets due to regulatory requirements.

OKX's Perspective

An OKX spokesperson attributed the decision to a strategic focus on euro-denominated liquidity in the region. 

They said, 

"This year our focus is to expand EURO pair liquidity and become the preferred venue for EURO to crypto spot trading. We evaluated this decision and delisting the current USDT pairs only impacts a small subset of our user base. Importantly, we’ve recently expanded our product offering in the EEA by introducing a variety of Euro fiat onramps and Euro pairs."

While the specific motives behind the delisting remain uncertain, it aligns with broader efforts by exchanges to navigate regulatory requirements in the European Economic Area (EEA). 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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