LocalBitcoins clamps down on services in Iran; official says compliance now a top priority

LocalBitcoins, one of the most popular peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, was recently criticized by the community. Last month, it was bought to light that the platform had stopped providing services to customers based in Iran, following which, the exchange placed a ban on in-person cash trading. As a result, the platform is reportedly losing customers to other peer-to-peer platforms in the space.

Currently, LocalBitcoins’ website explicitly states that the platform is not available for services in Iran. Further, Iranian users who already had an account on the exchange before the enforcement of the ban would be able to withdraw their Bitcoins. However, they would not be able to trade.

Source: LocalBitcoins

Source: LocalBitcoins

During an interview on Unchained Podcast, LocalBitcoin’s Community Manager, Vera Xavier and Chief Customer Success Officer, Elena Tonoyan, spoke about the reasons behind the platform’s latest update.

The platform’s representative stated that the reason for banning Iranian customers on its platform was regulations. The official stated that the cryptocurrency market was “getting regulated,” adding that there was a lot of grey area. She further stated that compliance was one of the platform’s top priorities now.

The official added,

“[….] Well, obviously right now, there are quite many regulations coming […] even though we’re a company acting under Finnish law, we have users from all over the world and sometimes for some regulatory reasons we might stop servicing in certain countries […]”

This was followed by the representative stating that she would not be able to provide further comments on the subject as it was beyond her “scope of responsibilities.” However, she did affirm that the main point was that the platform was doing its best to cooperate with regulatory authorities all around the world.

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