It’s been nearly one year since one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges was forced to shut its doors in the wake of a government-imposed trading ban. Now, that exchange, the formerly China-based OKCoin, is eying a comeback on the other side of the globe.
Now headquartered in San Francisco, OKCoin’s U.S. offshoot announced on Wednesday that it has received regulatory approval to expand into 20 new states, greatly expanding its reach into one of the world’s largest crypto markets.
“In order for the cryptocurrency market to reach its full potential, exchanges like OKCoin have to work with existing and new regulators for convertible virtual currency, digital goods, and/or securities,” said Tim Buyn, the exchange operator’s CEO. “Our team has worked diligently within the complexities of the US regulatory frameworks. We’re excited to take this major step forward as we aim to break down the barriers preventing a truly global digital asset market while adhering to long established regulations.”
Previously, OKCoin USA was only open to traders in California, where it attracted around $700,000 in daily volume, ranking it about 125th among global exchanges, per CoinMarketCap.
Now, the platform is also available in a patchwork of 20 new jurisdictions, including Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
Notably, though, Californians remain the only customers who will be allowed to trade directly against the U.S. dollar. Traders in other states will have access to crypto-to-crypto trading against both bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH), but they will not have access to fiat markets.
OKCoin isn’t the only former Chinese giant to eye a Western renaissance in response to Beijing’s cryptocurrency trading ban. Huobi — which like OKCoin sister exchange OKEx has managed to thrive in offshore exile — also recently launched a U.S. venture through a strategic partnership with a local exchange operator. Dubbed HBUS, the platform sees about $1.7 million in daily volume.