Orca DEX to block US users from trading with its interface

The Solana-based decentralized exchange (DEX) Orca will block all United States users from trading using its web interface beginning March 31, according to a March 16 notice posted to its official website. 

The exchange did over $634 million worth of trading volume in February and has over $46 million total value locked in Solana smart contracts, according to DefiLlama.

On March 16, the protocol’s website added a notification that read, “Orca will be adding the United States to the regions and countries which are restricted from trading on orca.so effective March 31, 2023.”

Notice appearing on Orca’s website. Source: Orca

The alert emphasized that the change “will not impact the ability of U.S. users to directly interact with Orca’s smart contract or SDK, nor will it impact their ability to provide liquidity through orca.so.

Americans who directly interact with Orca smart contracts will not be affected by the change, the notice said.

Orca is one of the DEXs used by Jupiter to source liquidity for its swap aggregator service, so Jupiter’s website may be an alternative for traders wanting to interact with Orca smart contracts.

Cointelegraph attempted to contact both Orca and Jupiter but did not receive a response from either by the time of publication.

Centralized crypto exchanges that are not licensed in the U.S. have often blocked American users to avoid the ire of the country’s regulators, but most decentralized exchanges have not followed suit, with a few exceptions. Aggregator 1inch began blocking American users in September 2021, after stating in its terms of use that U.S. residents were not allowed to use its interface. Binance DEX also banned U.S. users in June 2019.

Unlike centralized exchanges, DEXs do not have a centralized “back end” or database controlled by the developer. For this reason, many users have found that they can circumvent geographical bans in most cases by using a VPN to hide their IP address or by connecting directly to the blockchain through a development tool such as Truffle or Hardhat.

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