Due to an inability to comply with the new regulations from the FCA, both the DeFi platforms Marinade and Orca Finance have opted to isolate themselves from the UK market.
The largest staking protocol on Solana, Marinade Finance, has restricted users from the UK in order to adhere to the regulations of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of this country. If you access the website intended for UK users, you’ll see the announcement, and users can withdraw liquidity or postpone unstaking via the SDK.
Marinade contributes a significant amount (70%) to Solana’s total locked value (TVL), with $248 million spread across various staking products. Meanwhile, the TVL of the entire Solana ecosystem is only about $350 million, according to DefiLlama.
Marinade offers an annual interest rate of 8.15% for native staking (deployed earlier this year) and 7.7% for liquid staking.
Alongside Marinade Finance, the largest DEX on Solana, Orca Finance, has also restricted UK users from complying with the new regulatory framework of the FCA, limiting the marketing of cryptocurrency-related products or services.
The FCA introduced new regulations earlier this year, effective from October 8, aimed at governing the promotion of crypto products within the country. The financial regulatory body is committed to strict supervision, accompanied by criminal penalties of up to 2 years in prison.
Additionally, the UK Financial Conduct Authority has published a list of over 100 crypto companies operating unlawfully, including HTX (formerly Huobi) and KuCoin. As a result, many cryptocurrency companies are either seeking to adapt or choosing to exit this market.
Centralized exchanges like Bybit and PayPal have already severed ties with users in the UK, and Binance has temporarily halted serving residents from the land of the Union Jack since October 16. Meanwhile, OKX has changed its operations to comply with the new regulations.
However, geographical restrictions are typically rare on decentralized protocols since most do not require customer identity verification (KYC).