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OKX Delists Tether’s USDT for EU Users Amid Regulatory Concerns

OKX has halted its backing of cryptocurrency trading pairs featuring Tether’s USDT stablecoin for customers residing in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).

Effective from Monday, OKX’s trading platform has limited spot crypto trading exclusively to USDC and euro pairs. Meanwhile, USDT can only be exchanged against USDC and euro, as detailed in a Bloomberg report.

The modification was first brought to light by a trader on X, who disclosed a customer support communication citing regulatory conformity and platform integrity as the motives behind the alteration.

OKX Focuses on Euro-Denominated Liquidity

An OKX representative clarified that the choice was motivated by the exchange’s dedication to bolstering euro-based liquidity within the region.

“Our focus this year is centered on enhancing EURO pair liquidity and establishing ourselves as the preferred platform for EURO to crypto spot trading,” the spokesperson explained.

They further elaborated, “After careful consideration, we decided to delist the current USDT pairs, affecting only a small portion of our user base. It’s important to note that we’ve recently broadened our product range in the EEA by introducing various Euro fiat onramps and Euro pairs.”

Although USDT trading pairs have been removed for EU users, the OKX platform still supports USDT for depositing, withdrawing, and participating in over-the-counter (OTC) trading, including buying, selling, and conversions, as affirmed by the exchange’s representative.

With a staggering trading volume of $100 billion, USDT stands as the largest stablecoin, playing a pivotal role as a fundamental infrastructure element for crypto trading on centralized exchanges. It notably serves as the most liquid trading pair for Bitcoin (BTC) and various other digital assets.

OKX’s recent move might foreshadow potential regulatory hurdles for the widely-used stablecoin within the region, especially with the forthcoming implementation of the European Union’s comprehensive digital asset regulatory framework, known as MiCA, later this year.

According to these impending regulations, stablecoin issuers will be mandated to secure regulation as electronic money institutions.

In response to these developments, Circle, the entity behind the second-largest stablecoin USDC and the euro-pegged token EURC, has obtained conditional registration for digital asset services in France. Additionally, Circle has submitted an application for an electronic money institution license in the EU, positioning itself to navigate the evolving regulatory landscape effectively.

Tether Surpasses $100 Billion Market Cap

In early March, Tether’s USDT achieved a remarkable milestone, surpassing a market capitalization of $100 billion, marking an impressive year-to-date growth of 9%.

In comparison, USDT maintains a significant lead in market cap, with over $71 billion more than its closest competitor, USD Coin (USDC).

Despite this success, concerns persist in the crypto community regarding the quality of assets backing USDT.

A recent report from the United Nations shed light on Tron’s popularity in facilitating cyber fraud and money laundering activities in Southeast Asia.

Tether has strongly contested these allegations, highlighting its cooperation with law enforcement agencies and the transparency of its token.

In response to the UN report, Tether emphasized its collaboration with global law enforcement entities, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the United States Secret Service (USSS). Tether asserted that its cooperation has led to unmatched monitoring capabilities, surpassing those of traditional banking systems.

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