In a surprise announcement made this week the popular Lighting Network-powered wallet provider, Wallet of Satoshi, explained that the project would halt all services to North American clients. The move comes amid a recent crackdown by US officials on the market which has resulted in many highly publicized cases.
The decision will take the Wallet of Satoshi off of both the Apple and Google app stores where it had been previously available for years as a free download. According to company documentation, the move will not affect the company's offerings outside of these regions where it plans to still provide low-cost Lightning Network support.
Why the Move?
While there has been no exact reason listed as to why the Wallet of Satoshi has decided to leave the North American shores there has been lots of speculation for the public. Many people believe the changing regulatory climate is the main motivator. They look towards recent examples of platforms getting hit with massive fines such as the Binance case that ended with the CEO stepping down from his position.
Hintsd to this line of thought have emerged. A recent company statement claimed that the wallet “will not serve U.S. customers going forward.” The developers stated that due to the changing regulatory climate, it would be impossible for the platform to meet the new requirements and still serve its technical purpose. It would appear that they preferred to exit gracefully rather than face biteback from regulators as they expanded the scope of their operations.
Funds are Safe
This message was also accompanied by another one that let all US clients know they can still withdraw and access their funds for the time being, but that they would need to move them to another platform soon. This message comes on the heels of a variety of platform failures which has left crypto users on edge. Thankfully, there are no losses to report in this incident.
Wallet of Satoshi
The loss of such a capable wallet in the North American Lighting Network ecosystem is sure to make some people upset. The Wallet of Satoshi is among the most popular options for LN-enabled users. The platform has already conducted millions of transactions. Notably, the platform broke a previous record when it processed 1M transactions in November.
The Wallet of Satoshi was built from the ground up to streamline Lighting Network transactions. It features very low fees, an easy-to-navigate interface, and high functionality. All of the main features were available on the single-page splash screen and new users didn’t require any training to get started using the wallet. Additionally, you could use the wallet to search for merchants that accepted Lightning Network payments directly.
The Wallet of Satoshi may Not be Alone
This recent development highlights the delicate nature in which lawmakers need to approach the blockchain space. The wrong regulations can stifle innovation or worse, send it to other shores. Countries like China have felt this pain from bad regulatory decisions in the past. Sadly, the US may be on the same course as more crypto firms exit the region in search of friendlier shores.