Marinade Finance, the largest decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol operating on the Solana blockchain, has taken steps to restrict access for users in the United Kingdom.
On October 23, UK-based customers trying to access Marinade’s website from local IP addresses were met with a message indicating that access to the site was unavailable due to “compliance concerns” related to regulations enforced by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.
The message did, however, assure users that they could still withdraw liquidity, claim delayed tickets, and delay unstake via Marinade’s software development kit (SDK).
Marinade Finance currently boasts approximately 75,000 users, with a total value locked exceeding $265 million, constituting a significant portion of the assets locked on the Solana blockchain, accounting for roughly 70%. While the message from Marinade did not explicitly outline the regulatory rules that triggered this action, it’s worth noting that Marinade is not the only entity to exit the UK market in recent times.
On October 16, prominent cryptocurrency exchange Binance ceased accepting new users from the UK, citing certification issues with its local business partner as the reason behind this decision. Similarly, PayPal made the move to halt cryptocurrency transactions for its UK-based customers, a step that Bybit had taken in late September.
The backdrop to these developments lies in the regulatory changes introduced by the FCA on October 8, with the implementation of the Financial Promotions (FinProm) Regime.
This framework has been introduced to encourage “fair, clean, and transparent” advertising within the cryptocurrency industry.
In response to the FCA’s new regulatory framework, certain companies, including OKX and MoonPay, have already announced their intention to comply with these rules, signaling a commitment to aligning with the UK’s evolving regulatory landscape.