A prominent Bitcoin Lightning wallet provider, Wallet of Satoshi, announced its decision to remove its app from the US Apple and Google app stores.
In a Twitter post addressed to the community, Wallet of Satoshi clarified that it will cease catering to customers in the country. This sparked speculation that the decision might be linked to a growing hostility from US regulatory authorities toward the cryptocurrency industry.
Wallet of Satoshi is on pace to process over 1.1 million Lightning payments in November.
This will be their largest month of Lightning payments ever.
— Kevin Rooke (@kerooke) November 22, 2023
Another Player Quits the US Market
The latest development comes after several crypto users flagged the disappearance of Wallet of Satoshi (WoS) from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store in the United States, which coincided with the app approaching a milestone of over a million transactions this month.
On November 24th, various users and members of the crypto community took to Twitter to share their experiences attempting to locate the WoS app, reporting either no search results or being redirected to alternative wallet applications. Notably, the app remained available for download on Apple’s App Store in other countries.
Confirming its exit from the US, WoS tweeted,
To our valued Wallet of Satoshi community in the United States of America,
We've dedicated ourselves to providing the best Bitcoin experience with Wallet of Satoshi, being at the forefront of Lightning usability and adoption. However, we've made the difficult decision to remove…
— Wallet of Satoshi (@walletofsatoshi) November 24, 2023
“We’ve dedicated ourselves to providing the best Bitcoin experience with Wallet of Satoshi, being at the forefront of Lightning usability and adoption. However, we’ve made the difficult decision to remove our app from the U.S. Apple and Google app stores, and will not serve U.S. customers going forward.”
Increased Hostility or Voluntary Exit?
Bitcoin layer 2 – Lightning Network – has surged by 1,200% in the last two years. Hence, Wallet of Satoshi’s decision to exit the US market is seen as a blow to the space.
The Bitcoin Lightning app has not specified the details regarding whether the decision was imposed by external forces or was a voluntary choice by the company itself.
However, several crypto users have linked the app’s removal to the regulatory environment in the country. Recent legal actions against Binance and its former CEO, Changpeng Zhao, have heightened concerns about potential regulatory crackdowns.
Wallet of Satoshi acknowledged the disappointment that this decision might cause to the US user base but conveyed hope for future developments that might allow them to revisit and potentially resume operations in the US.
In an effort to reassure existing users in the USA, Wallet of Satoshi confirmed that customers still have full access to their Bitcoin funds. Users can withdraw and transfer their funds to another wallet, mitigating potential concerns about losing access to their crypto holdings.
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