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Why Is Binance Not Available in New York?

Image of the Statue of Liberty. On the left side is the Binanace logo crossed with black thin lines

If you’re a resident of the New York State and want to purchase cryptocurrencies from the biggest crypto exchange you may have encountered an issue – it’s not possible. Now you’re wondering why is Binance not available in New York and looking at how to fix it, right? It’s not your personal problem, the exchange is not available to any New York resident at the moment.

Here we’ll explain why is Binance not available in New York and what you can expect in the future about it.

Why Is Binance Not Available in New York? Is Binance Illegal in the US? 

The biggest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume Binance was created in 2017 and provided services to most locations where cryptocurrency trading is legal. However, just two years later, in 2019, Binance stumbled upon an obstacle to distributing its trading services. In the US the regulations and laws concerning cryptocurrencies started growing as a result of the increasing popularity of digital assets. That meant that platforms for crypto trading too would fall under those regulations, some suffering badly from the new policies. Binance was banned in the United States on regulatory grounds in 2019, so if you’re curious why is Binance not available in New York – it hasn’t been available in the whole country since 2019.

In response to the ban, Binance.US was created. The difference between Binance vs Binance.US is that the second exchange was born out of the necessity for the company to comply with the new rules of the United States regarding digital money. Binance.US was registered with the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and designed to comply with all US laws regarding crypto assets and their trading. What that means is that some features of the exchange, as well as the number of cryptocurrencies provided for trading, are limited. While that may change in the future, as the exchange may add more assets and features for its American users, they still have to obey the American laws and thus may be limited to what they can provide.

Is Binance.US Available in New York?

Knowing that Binance created a special exchange for American users only, you may be wondering is Binance.US available in New York? The answer is no, it isn’t. Binance.US is available in all states but four: New York, Hawaii, Texas, and Vermont. That sounds a little weird, doesn’t it? An exchange was created specifically to comply with laws then why is Binance.US not available in New York? We’ll cover this in the following paragraphs.

Why Is Binance Not Available in New York: Explained

Whether you’re asking “Why is Binance not available in New York?” or “Why is Binance.US not available in New York?” the answer is the same – they don’t have a valid BitLicense. This is a business license introduced in 2014 and it’s for virtual currency activities that regulate companies according to the New York State Department of Financial Services policies. The regulations are limited to activities involving the state of New York and its residents. Although Binance.US complies with most US laws regarding digital money, since it doesn’t have this specific license, it can’t operate on New York grounds. 

Allegedly, the purpose of BitLicense is to make trading cryptocurrencies safer. Every company that wants to offer its cryptocurrency services in New York must own a valid license of this kind. That applies to individuals as well, meaning you need the license if you’re holding crypto for other people or you’re trading as a consumer business. Such laws were inflicted in the country because of the concerns that digital assets were used for money laundering. Since there aren’t global laws about cryptocurrencies, you can find that like New York, most states have their own requirements regarding crypto traders and exchanges.

Image of a person holding a smartphone. On the table before them are a laptop and a tablet. On the screens of all devices are Binance trading screeens.

That answers your question why is Binance not available in New York but raises another one – then why doesn’t the company, or its American branch Binance.US, just acquire this license? Many other exchanges and companies are like Binance and haven’t gotten this license. The total cost may go over $100,000 though it’s unlikely that’s the reason why is Binance not available in New York. The more likely explanation is that if they do get the BitLencense, businesses will have to comply strictly with it and some parts of it may not be liked by many companies. 

The license limits companies and people who deal with crypto business in regards to receiving virtual currency (exception is for non-financial purposes), controlling virtual currency on behalf of others, trading crypto as a customer business, and other related activities. You may notice that this New York license is a stricter local regulation that some countries have as a whole when it comes to crypto. Even if the state hasn’t banned digital assets, like some countries have done, including Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, and Iraq, the introduction of the document has made trading for business purposes very difficult.

But even if Binance or Binance.US had the license, would that change its availability in the state? Probably, but we can’t be certain. Some companies still have a hard time operating, even after getting a valid BitLicense. They need to comply with SEC regulations and suffer marketing and advertisement requirements. That’s why many exchanges, not only Binance.US, aren’t operating in New York.

Why Is Binance Not Available in New York and What Alternative Can I Use?

To summarize, we can explain why is Binance not available in New York by the fact that its American branch Binance.US doesn’t want to acquire a BitLicense in the state. However, keep in mind that it’s not some rebel move by the Binance brand, other popular exchanges also haven’t acquired this license. For example, besides Binance.US, you also can’t use KuCoin, Crypto.com, Kraken, Bittrex, Voyager, and Webull, if you’re a New York resident. You can benefit from the exchange that’s based in the state – Gemini, as well as from Coinbase, and a couple of other trading platforms. As you can notice BitLicense is the reason why is Binance not available in New York, but also the reason why other popular crypto exchanges aren’t open to citizens of the state. This means that the license is heavily limiting the New York citizens to trade cryptocurrencies openly, as well as businesses in the sector.

Why Is Binance Not Available in New York and Will It Be Available in the Future?

If you’re a New York cryptocurrency trader it may seem unfair why is Binance not available in New York. However, keep in mind that this may change at some point and you may be able to access Binance.US in your state. How? Well, for starters, New York City got its first crypto-loving mayor. Eric Adams has declared his favor for cryptocurrencies, even saying he wants part of his salary in bitcoins, and that brings hope for New York crypto traders. If the mayor, joined by more politicians, removes the BitLicense, soon you won’t be asking why is Binance not available in New York, but will be happily trading on Binance.US in your home state. Until then, you’ll have to look for alternatives to the largest crypto exchange. Sadly, the number of operating crypto trading platforms in your state is quite limited, due to the strict state regulations. Hopefully, soon the politicians in New York will embrace digital assets more freely and allow companies and traders to operate more openly. Then, New Yorkers will join the crypto market and the state may turn into a booming decentralized space. 

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