Understanding geo-blocking and VPNs in the cryptocurrency world

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In particular, cryptocurrencies have brought to light one thing that has haunted financial exchanges for a long time: the problem of control and independence. Centralized financial structures have proven to be unstable, and the level of control they exercise over consumers often seems excessive.

Various government (and private) institutions are working to free regulations by controlling the cryptocurrency markets, even these are gradually entering the public sphere. Geographic restrictions are one way to achieve this by restricting access to certain regions.

For example, the crypto exchange and derivatives trading platform BitMEX – Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange – is not available in the United States. If we consider that BitMEX has processed transactions up to 1 million BTC in size in a daily trading volume, denial of access to this platform is a significant disadvantage for US crypto traders.

Previously we discussed the importance of using a VPN to add additional security and privacy to your crypto transactions. Still, there are other ways to leverage a VPN. as NordVPN when it comes to cryptocurrencies, like the ability to access previously unavailable markets for better exchange rates.

This concise guide focuses on geographic restrictions on crypto and how to avoid them with a VPN.

What are geo-restrictions?

Geo-restrictions, or geo-blocking, is a technology that limits access to online content based on the user’s physical location. Streaming services are a prime example. Netflix users in Germany will get a different (and smaller) content library than in the United States, and some services, like the cryptocurrency markets, may be completely unavailable.

This is done by monitoring the user’s IP address and measuring the end-to-end delay (the time it takes for a data packet to travel from point A to point B) to get the location. geographic location of users. Once the geographic location is verified, an interested party can block the IP address or even collect the device’s fingerprints and track the user online by restricting access.

VPNs are considered the number one software for bypassing geo-restrictions, and they solve the problem very effectively.

First of all, VPNs mask the users’ original IP address linked to the actual geographic location, and replace it with another address. Thus, tracking a person online through their IP address becomes very problematic. They do this by rerouting online data traffic through one of their servers instead of letting it go through the ISP, which is also a great way to boost online privacy.

The end-to-end delay is also resolved because the VPN server becomes a starting measurement position, and the delay is reduced depending on the distance between that server and the target destination.

When it comes to obfuscating browser fingerprints, VPN is only one part of a larger privacy software package, like timezone spoofers or browser user agent switchers. Let’s take a look at the geo-blocking situation in the crypto markets.

Geoblocks Affecting the Cryptocurrency Industry

As mentioned earlier, BitMEX USA’s restrictions are one of the best examples of geo-blocking cryptocurrencies in the United States, but it is not the only one.

Another notorious example is Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. When the company went public, it reported 43 million verified users and a net income of US $ 1.14 billion in 2020. You can find the list of countries supported by Coinbase here.

As you can see, some important markets like Russia and China are missing. We are not here to debate international politics, but it sounds like an attempt to control and regulate the cryptocurrency markets.

Remember that centralization and regulations are what cryptocurrencies try to avoid. VPNs meet this challenge in the cybersecurity industry. Providing safer and more open access to the internet is what consumer-centric VPNs are all about.

Another example is that of Kraken, a crypto exchange and bank based in the United States, which allows cryptos to be exchanged for fiat currency. However, once again, the service is geographically limited, and outside of countries like Sudan and Somalia, it is also not available in Washington State and New York.

VPNs, like NordVPN, are one way to reach these platforms, and many users do so without a problem. However, it’s always best to be cautious and double-check user reviews and theirs on a particular market’s compatibility with a VPN.

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Users get a limited time offer: a 2 year plan with 72% off + 3 additional months of NordVPN subscription.

Understanding Geoblocking and VPNs in the Cryptocurrency World 101

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