Okcoin, the U.S. affiliate of cryptocurrency exchange OKX, announced on March 13 that it had no exposure to defunct U.S. tech bank Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). However, Okcoin CEO Hong Fang stated that the platform’s U.S. dollar wire and ACH deposits had been “immediately paused” due to the regulatory intervention in Signature Bank, Okcoin’s primary partner for customer transactions in dollars.
On March 12, New York state regulators closed Signature Bank, a major financial institution for fiat-crypto on-ramping, citing a “systemic risk exception” in the wake of SVB’s collapse. In addition to suspending dollar deposits, Fang wrote that “over-the-counter services will be temporarily paused too,” including its quick buy and recurring buy functions. Okcoin also stated that the suspension extends to “crypto transactions by credit card” and “trading USD-crypto trading pairs.”
Fang reassured users that “all corporate and all customer funds are safe” and that “USD withdrawal not affected. The processing pace will be subject to bank operation.” All crypto deposit and withdrawal functions remain intact, including those of U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoins. Furthermore, the suspension appears limited to dollar deposits, as other fiat deposit methods, such as those made in euros, are unaffected.
Okcoin is working to find alternative channels and solutions in real-time, and the suspension is not expected to impact crypto transactions significantly. Fang emphasized the platform’s commitment to its users, stating, “If this weekend has told us anything, it’s the significance of the future that we are building. Our commitment to you hasn’t changed either.”
The crypto-friendly Signature Bank was a key partner for many crypto firms, including Coinbase, Celsius, and Paxos, which have since disclosed that they held balances in the bank. U.S. federal regulators have stated that Signature Bank depositors will receive their balances in full post-shutdown.
The shutdown of Signature Bank has raised concerns in the crypto community about the risks associated with fiat-crypto on-ramping and the importance of selecting reliable banking partners. While Okcoin has assured its users that their funds are safe, the incident highlights the need for greater transparency and accountability in the crypto industry.