Marinade Finance, Solana’s most prominent decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol, has taken the unprecedented step of blocking users in the United Kingdom. This decision stems from “compliance concerns” linked to the regulations the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) set forth.
Upon visiting Marinade Finance’s platform, users based in the UK are greeted with a warning message. However, amidst these restrictions, a glimmer of hope remains as the message assures users that they can still perform essential actions, such as withdrawing liquidity, claiming delayed tickets, or delaying unstaking through the Marinade Software Development Kit (SDK).
Marinade Finance is undeniably a cornerstone of the Solana ecosystem, as it currently commands the majority of the total value locked (TVL) on the Solana blockchain. An impressive $248 million is distributed across native and liquid staking products, contributing significantly to the blockchain’s total assets locked, which hover around $350 million, according to data from DefiLlama.
Attractive Yields Offered by Marinade Finance
Investors and users have been drawn to Marinade Finance due to its attractive annual yields. The platform presently offers a compelling 8.15% for native staking and 7.7% for liquid staking, with native staking having been introduced earlier this year.
Notably, Orca Finance, Solana’s largest decentralized exchange, has also implemented Geo-blocking measures for users in the United Kingdom. These actions are a direct response to the FCA’s recently introduced regulations, which impose constraints on the marketing of cryptocurrency-related products and services.
The regulatory landscape, shaped by the FCA’s new rules, has reverberated across the cryptocurrency industry in the UK. Several centralized crypto businesses, including Bybit and Paypal, have exited the UK market. Meanwhile, Binance temporarily suspended new sign-ups for UK users in light of the FCA’s latest promotional rules. Additionally, Luno, another cryptocurrency platform, has imposed restrictions on some UK customers seeking to invest in cryptocurrency.
The implementation of geo-restrictions within the decentralized protocol space is relatively rare. Most decentralized protocols typically operate without requiring users to undergo know-your-customer (KYC) checks.