1Broker has announced that it will begin processing customer withdrawals on 11 October 2018, a surprising turn of events considering that they were shut down by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
We will start processing withdrawals tomorrow at 12:00 (UTC). Thanks for your patience in the past days!
— 1Broker (@1Brokerio) October 10, 2018
1Broker was a popular trading platform that launched in 2012. Due to its relatively early start, it had a policy of allowing users to be anonymous. This was at first legal but new regulations have made this illegal if doing business within the United States, since know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) policies are required under the law. An undercover FBI agent bought Bitcoin investment products on 1Broker from within the United States, since they require nothing more than an email to signup.
The FBI and SEC coordinated to shut down 1Broker on 27 September, claiming that it was selling security-based swaps and failed to register as a dealer, or conduct its business on an officially registered exchange. There was outrage in the crypto community since it appeared customer’s funds were to be held indefinitely, which would harm up to 50,000 users on the platform, the opposite of the SEC’s mission of protecting investors. Additionally, 1Broker is based in the Marshall Islands, a sovereign nation outside of the United States, and it seemed like a major overstepping of bounds for the US to seize 1Broker.
Now the situation has taken a positive and perhaps unexpected turn, and customers will be getting their money back. 1Broker’s domain was initially completely seized but opened in read-only mode soon after the incident. Now users will be able to go on the website and withdraw funds starting on 11 October.
The SEC’s action against 1Broker is just one of many regulatory enforcement actions in the crypto space recently. The United States Congress has asked the SEC to lessen the hostile environment in the crypto space by clarifying crypto regulations and making them more favorable towards crypto business.
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