If you’re a trader, then you know that many of the world’s top exchanges are geo-blocked. That means that if you’re not located in a country where the exchange is supported, then you can’t use it.
For example, let’s say that you’re an American who wants to trade on Binance. That’s difficult. In 2019, Binance was banned in the US. In 2022 there’s an alternative subsidiary called Binance.US with fewer trading pairs and no leverage. However, even that isn’t available to residents of Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New York, Texas and Vermont.
If you want to trade on Binance, then you need to use a VPN. A virtual private network will allow you to access the exchange as if you were located in another country.
However, there are risks to using a VPN with a cryptocurrency exchange. Let’s go over them.
Will a VPN unblock crypto exchanges
A VPN will unblock some but not all. Many exchanges still require you to complete KYC before raising the deposit and withdrawal limits above 0.
KYC is the “Know Your Customer” procedure. It involves giving up information about yourself and occasionally proving residence with photos of utility bills. It’s hard to find exchanges that don’t need you to do KYC, but here are some of the few left.
Use at your own risk
With a KYC that asks you to prove your residence, even if you use a VPN, you can still be geo-blocked.
The risk of using a VPN to unblock crypto exchanges
If you use a VPN to connect to overseas exchange, then there are some risks. The most obvious is that your account could get banned. If the exchange finds out that you’re trying to circumvent their geo-restrictions, then they may terminate your account and ask you to provide an ID or go through an annoying process to reclaim your crypto.
Understanding this risk, if you still want to press on keep reading to learn ways to use a VPN to unblock crypto exchanges.
Don’t store crypto on the exchange
The first thing to understand is that you should never store your crypto on the exchange. That’s because if you’re using a VPN, then there’s always a slight chance that the exchange could figure out that you’re trying to circumvent their geo-restrictions. If they do, then they may terminate your account and confiscate your assets. They can’t do this if you buy crypto and then immediately send it off the platform to your own wallet.
Always access the exchange from the same server / country
If you’re going to use a VPN to unblock a crypto exchange, then it’s important to do so from the same server every time. That way, your activity won’t look suspicious. If you connect from different servers or countries each time, then that’s not organic internet usage.
Hot tip: If you travel a lot and login to your crypto exchange overseas, you might also get that dreaded, ”your account blocked has been because of suspicious activity email”. A VPN is a way to prevent that from happening by appearing to login from the same country each time, even if you’re not.
Get a static IP Address
Better yet, you need to do is get a static IP address. A static IP address is an IP address that doesn’t change. That’s important because some VPN providers will give you a new IP address each time you connect to their service. If the exchange sees that you’re connecting with different IP addresses, then they may become suspicious and terminate your account.
Pay for a quality VPN service
If you’re going to use a VPN to unblock crypto exchanges, then you need to pay for a quality service. The free ones are well known and will likely get you banned. Putting aside the cybersecurity risks of installing a free VPN on a computer with access to your crypto, the IP addresses used by free VPNs are known to all the major exchanges. So, if you connect to Binance with a free VPN, then they will know that you’re using a VPN and may ban your account.
How to unblock an account if it is blocked after using a VPN
If you’re using a VPN to unblock a crypto exchange and your account gets blocked, then there are a few things that you can do. The first is to contact the exchange and explain what happened. They may be willing to help you unblock your account. This is only worth doing if you kept crypto on the exchange, which you shouldn’t.
Some exchanges might ask you to provide documents to prove your identity. This is usually a photo of your driver’s license or passport, and wait a couple of days before they unblock your account or give you one final withdrawal to retrieve your funds.
Another option is to create a new account. This isn’t ideal because you’ll have to start from scratch, but it’s better than nothing.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Using a VPN to unblock a crypto exchange isn’t without its risks, but it’s still a viable option if you want to access markets that might not be available in your region. Just remember to take precautions such as only accessing the exchange from the same server, getting a static IP address, and paying for a quality VPN service. And, of course, don’t forget to never store crypto on an exchange. We recommend Surfshark VPN because it’s reputable and has affordable static IP addresses.