New Setback for Bitcoin: IBEX Pay Withdraws from the U.S. Market

IBEX Pay, a payment company utilizing Bitcoin's Lightning Network, has announced its withdrawal from the U.S. market. Starting May 31, 2024, the company's Bitcoin payment services will no longer be available in the United States.

This decision comes amid increasingly challenging conditions for cryptocurrency businesses in the U.S. It adds to a growing list of actions by U.S. authorities aimed at curbing privacy-focused initiatives in the crypto sector:

  • Closure of Samourai Wallet and arrest of its creators.
  • Shutdown of AgoraDesk service.
  • Five-year prison sentence for Tornado Cash developer.
  • Cessation of U.S. operations by Wasabi Wallet and Phoenix Bitcoin Wallet.

IBEX Pay provided users with a quick and easy way to make Bitcoin payments via the Lightning Network, and offered businesses payment solutions and gateways. On May 15, 2024, IBEX Pay announced the suspension of its U.S. services, effective May 31, 2024.

"After careful consideration, it has been decided that as of May 31, 2024, all IBEX Pay services in the United States will be suspended."

A Difficult Environment for IBEX Pay

This situation is partly due to the current economic and geopolitical climate. The status of the U.S. dollar as a global reserve currency is increasingly questioned, while new threats of bank failures loom. In response to this uncertainty, U.S. regulators appear more inclined to adopt a restrictive approach towards cryptocurrencies that do not fall under their oversight, viewing them as a potential threat to the traditional financial system.

Amid this uncertainty, many companies fear their activities could be declared illegal overnight. By closing or relocating their operations, they hope to avoid potentially costly legal battles. Other countries, such as Switzerland or El Salvador, have established more flexible regulatory frameworks that are more favorable to innovation in the cryptocurrency space.

These events may drive users towards solutions that guarantee greater autonomy, such as LNBits or BTCPay.