Wasabi Wallet blocks users in the United States

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Key facts: Users will not be able to visit their websites, download or use Wasabi Wallet. The block prevents the use of any service associated with Wasabi or zkSNACKs.

Wasabi Wallet is blocking users in the United States. The measure comes after the arrest of the founders of another of the privacy-focused wallets for Bitcoin, Samourai Wallet, which occurred days earlier this week. Also, after the FBI alerted US citizens about the use of Bitcoin self-custody services without KYC (“Know Your Customer” rules). The official announcement about this block has just been made through a brief statement on the website of zkSNACKs, the organization in charge of the development of Wasabi Wallet. They argue that, «in light of recent announcements by US authorities, zkSNACKs now strictly prohibits US users from using its services.» This is a complete block, as IP addresses for US residents are blocked with immediate effect to access wasabiwallet.io, api.wasabiwallet.io and zksnacks.com. This means that they cannot use the services, which include coinjoin or coin mixing (used to reinforce the privacy of the user's fund movements).

If you are a United States citizen or resident of the United States, you are not permitted to visit any of the sites mentioned above, download Wasabi Wallet, or use the Wasabi Wallet coinjoin feature. This includes if you are a permanent resident of the US or if you are a person who holds a US passport. zkSNACKs in your statement

Yesterday, Friday, April 26, Phoenix Wallet had announced its departure from the United States. As we reported in BitcoinDynamic, the developers argued the existence of doubts about the regulation of service providers with the Lightning Network, a category in which their wallet falls.

FBI warnings and arrest of Samourai Wallet founders

As we mentioned, the FBI published a warning to American users regarding the use of cryptocurrency self-custody services that do not include KYC policies (which involve providing personal data such as telephone, residence and identification documents). They allege that “individuals who use unlicensed cryptocurrency money transmission services may suffer financial disruption during law enforcement actions, especially if their cryptocurrencies are mixed with funds obtained through illegal means.” The latter, in clear reference to mixing services, like those that offer wallets like Wasabi or Samourai. Precisely the founders of the latter were arrested days ago. As we reported at the time, Keonne Rodríguez and William Lonergan Hill are accused of conspiring to commit money laundering for the privacy service enabled by Samourai Wallet. This measure sparked countless questions among the bitcoiner community, classifying it as an attack on the right to privacy. Although it seems that the authorities were targeting only Samourai and not Wasabi, the latter have decided to take measures to avoid suffering the same fate.